Glee - Why a Grown Man Can't Get Enough of this Show!

Kevin L. Facebook status update posted on January 20th, 12:42am:

"Wow. Just watched my first episode of Glee on Hulu to see what all the hype was about. Amazing. Lessons of tolerance, overcoming social angst, and ultimately, having a big heart... Loved it."

This was a quote posted to my legion of admirers on Facebook a few weeks ago. It was so good, that I thought I needed to bring it out into the open after watching the SuperBowl episode of Glee. Quoting myself is one of my favorite pastimes, which may, consequently, be a factor in why I am still single and rarely get invited to social gatherings.

Me with some friends:

Drunk Friend #1 - "Yeah, cockface! Shot number eight for me. I'm ready to slay some b*tches!"

Drunk Friend #2 - "Tonights we is gonna drop it like it's hot!"

Me - "Do you guys remember that one time when I took that shot and I said King Kong ain't got nothing on me? I was f*ckin hilarious!"

Drunk Friend #1 - "Who the hell invited this douchebag?!?!"

Me - "To quote myself, a douchebag is a hygienic product. Thus, I have no qualms with being part of the solution."

Drunk Friend #2 - "......Get the f*ck out of my house."

Me with girl:

Girl - "Oh, baby, you get me so hot..."

Me - "Since we are engaging in banter that will neither sound unique, original, or uncliched, I shall quote myself from the last time we hooked up: 'oh baby. baby. baby. You effin turn me on like a microwave oven. Better yet - like a George Foreman Grill. It cooks quicker and I'm ready to be skewered and served in under 3 minutes.' "

Girl - ".....Get the f*ck out of my house."

As you can see, I may be just a bit of a social outcast. That's why I LOVE Glee so much. It's about a group of teens that must deal with the rigors of fitting in, standing out, relationships, sexual and physical identity, and having the heart to love something that is decidedly very NOT cool in high school. We're talking about the Glee club.

In high school for me, the equivalent was being in musical theatre. I did it all 6 years and loved almost every minute of it. (What? 9th grade is a tough transition!) Now I say, "almost", because we got absolutely no props from ANYONE for singing, dancing, and acting, during an era that was the ending of Kurt Cobain's grunge 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' phase to the start of Dr. Dre's hard-core 'Nuthin But a G Thang' gangsta stage. Try rapping 'Nuthin But a G Thang' wearing makeup, having happy hands, and smiling like a goofball the whole time.... It just doesn't work.

Now, I had similar dilemmas to the guys on Glee who are also football players and must deal with being bullied and ostracized. Throughout my tenure in musical theatre, at one time or another, I was a member of the football team, basketball team, track and field - and that was on top of being class president (before my grades got too low), speech and debate, newspaper staff, and mock trial. I just LOVED high school at a time when it wasn't cool to LOVE anything but the gat you carried in your waist band if anyone looked at you funny. I feel for the stories they tell of the characters on Glee:

A crippled student in a wheelchair. The only openly gay student in the high school. The Quarterback still searching to be that leader. The troublemaker becoming, in choir, everything he's not in society...

I'm ashamed to admit that I called in sick or ditched all-together on days where we had to perform in front of the entire school during lunch to promote our school plays. I wasn't the only one. There were others who worried about their reputations. Others who didn't want to get made fun of on campus. It only made it that much easier to ditch when you see the same uneasiness in the eyes of another. And that's what high school was all about. Doing things to fit in and not out. I LOVED that 7th Period class and I loved the people I performed with who were more of a family to me than any other team I was a part of during high school.

Glee may not be the funniest show on television (that honor, in my opinion, goes to Family Guy or Modern Family), but it is the one that makes me most comfortable with the person I am today and the person I strive to be. Today, I am just as likely to be the driver behind going to see a Broadway musical as I am being the enforcer in a pickup game of hoops. The only difference now is that I possess the courage and conviction to vouch for the former and not worry about someone questioning my sexual orientation.

Today, if you say a derogatory term about someone overweight, handicapped, mentally challenged, homosexual, or just different - you will hear it from me and it will probably be the last time you hear from me. The characters in Glee are fictional,  but the bullying, fear, and intimidation that goes on in high schools around the world is not. We mustn't be afraid to stand up for the people and the things we love. I was afraid to say it back then, but to everyone listening today, I loved STAR theatre at Cupertino High School. The proudest moments I had in high school were taking those bows at the end of a show. (Although, finally passing the 9th grade after three years ranks up there...)

I spent a large part of my life trying to fit in and now I'm having the time of my life fitting out. And if watching Glee has taught you anything, you shouldn't be afraid to do the same.

Kevin L.
Cupertino S.T.A.R. Member '94 - '97

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