Sunday, 4 March 2012

Lesbian Identity in contemporary USA

For this week's post I decided to use Santana's coming out story as seen on the popular TV show Glee as it highlights the issues facing high school students who want to come out.

Firstly I want to discuss the talk that Santana has with her mother regarding her love for Brittany. It is obvious as soon as the conversation starts that this is a difficult topic for Santana to discuss with her Mum and something that she has been putting off for a while. During the talk Santana says "I've tried so hard to push this feeling away and keep it locked inside but everyday just feels like a war" this suggests that in contemporary USA coming out is not an easy thing and it is clear that this is an issue Santana has been battling with and trying to suppress as if it is wrong. Santana's mother's reaction is also interesting to look at in regard to Santana's struggle. Despite Santana being brave enough to confide in her mother, she still throws her out because of the way Santana feels towards girls. This shows that even in 2011 when this episode aired, there is still a battle for lesbian teenagers not only at school but in the home as well.

We do see some positive attitudes towards Santana and her coming out, through the teacher Miss Holliday. She says "ultimately it's not about who you are attracted to, it's who you fall in love with" and this seems to give Santana some confidence in her feelings. However this is really the only positive attitude we see in this video, however we do get the indication that her fellow Glee club members are supportive of Santana's coming out.

An intriguing part of the video is Santana's realisation of her anger "What I've realised is why I'm such a bitch all the time, I'm a bitch because I'm angry" and "I walked round so mad at the world when I'm really just fighting with myself." These quotes suggest that Santana used anger as a way to try and hide her feelings and the more she hid her feelings the more angry she got. Through these quotes it is easy to see that being lesbian in contemporary America is hard and a battle.

Lastly I want to discuss the effect this prejudice from her family and fellow students seem to has on Santana. We see that Santana more than anything is afraid of coming out, "I'm afraid of dealing with the consequences, I'm afraid of the talks and the looks...I'm so afraid of what everyone will say behind my back." In this quote Santana says "afraid" 4 times, thus making it clear to the audience that deep down all she really feels is afraid, of what people will do to her and what people will say to/about her just because of her sexual orientation.

What this video says about lesbian identity in contemporary USA as a whole, is that it is a struggle and battle. It is a battle with yourself to try and come to terms with and "accept" what you are feeling. It is hard to come out because people still judge you, despite homosexuality being widely accepted across the USA, ultimately people still view you as different and treat you badly. However with Glee, as a popular TV show addressing these issues it seems as if they are trying to change this negative attitude towards homosexuality.

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