I’ve seen all the pictures and gifs, read a lot of the recaps and many of the editorial posts. Brittana are married. This is amazing, especially when Glee often seemed more determined to walk all over queer women instead of celebrate them. But I haven’t watched an episode, not even the Brittana cuts, and I won’t, at least not for awhile.
Brittana were the couple that completely changed my life, professional and personally, in ways I could not have anticipated as an adult. They were the first time I had seen two women kiss in public (granted, it was on TV and they are fictional characters), and the first story that reached into my soul and into my past and healed wounds I had forgotten about.
But beyond maybe season 3, Glee’s behavior towards queer women–their meta commentary, dismissal of fans by the creators, often offensive storytelling, encouragement of fans more interested in competition than actual people, and a laundry list of other unpleasant ripple effects–has been a complete turn off.
I am so happy for Brittana. I’m also a little sad this could have been their story over so many seasons instead of saved for the end. But most of all, I’m unwilling to open back up (for now) to a show that has been too careless with people’s feelings and lives.
Glee has this habit of pitting LGBTQ characters against each other, as well as their shippers and fans. While the resulting social media commotion may be an effective way of creating some sort of social capital for a show that should have sunk years ago, it’s at the expense of the very same LGBTQ community Glee likes to congratulate itself for celebrating.
In the latest episode, which contains the much appreciated Brittana proposal and the most sensitive treatment of Brittana since season 2, it also features Santana viciously going after Kurt about why Blaine broke up with him. The result is pretty brutal and unnecessary, even for a character whose razor sharp edge is sometimes a complex, nuanced part of her personality. Really, it was uncalled for, even if Kurt interrupted Santana’s moment.
Beyond the fact that Blaine is the toxic character in the Klaine pairing and constantly escapes any sort of real criticism or challenge, it’s disheartening that Glee doesn’t seem to have room for two hugely important LGBTQ characters to exist in the same space and support each other at the same time.
Welcome back to the Klainer merry-go-round!
A friendly, helpful Klainer hoping to debunk the previous Debunking of Klaine’s popularity (going in circles, it’s a thing) provided a lot of helpful information via comments demonstrating Klainers have a lot of time on their hands to spend on the internet. Oops, I meant that Klaine are the most popular Glee couple. Spoiler alert: Still not really true. Also, there’s room for everybody, especially ALL the LGBTQ ships and characters. Hashtag, representation. Am I right, Klainers?
This introduction preceded the first installment of expunging this old Klaine research from my archives, but here it is again: To be frank, Glee has exhausted its welcome in my head space. In trying to be a healthy person after a bad relationship, I tabled finishing two posts about Klaine almost a year ago. Some of the references are out of date and I have no desire to spend any more time thinking about Klaine and the insipid behavior of Klainers (read: no, not all Klainers). But when tweets showing Klainers complaining about Brittana came across my Tumblr dash, along with comments borrowing text from our Brittana post, I realized outdated or not, things haven’t really changed at all.
So here it is, the Klaine post, down and dirty. This is the second, more practical installment, which points out some obvious fact checking errors the Klainers may have (inadvertently?) made.
One of my biggest pet peeves about the Glee fandom at times is the misinformation used to create what they think are logical arguments. Klainers especially have this idea that Klaine is all that drives the show. This is most definitely false, both in terms of the fandom and general audiences. They are not alone in the assumption that their ship runs the show (fans of many larger ships do this), but Klainers seem to be most vehement in their misinformation. So, we’ll start by debunking Klaine’s popularity with a dose of reality.
First of all, Klaine is not the most popular couple on Glee. Actually, there is no way to tell which couple is, there’s so many of them. Klainers like to point to shipper polls where Klaine has won as the best couple. What they fail to see is that for nearly every poll Klaine has won, another Glee couple has won one as well. For example, Brittana won a recent People’s Choice online couple poll, Brittana beat out Klaine to make in into the final round of an EOnline couple poll in early 2013, Faberry won an Eonline poll circa 2012, and on and on.
Not to mention, Klaine did not win best couple at the actual People’s Choice Awards this past year. In short, the lesson here is that online polls where fans are asked to choose something has no real correlation to the actual popularity of a ship. If a poll is the best evidence of a couple’s popularity, then get off the bus now, because these polls hardly reflect any real data. They more accurately represent who has the most spare time to vote many, many times online.
To be frank, Glee has exhausted its welcome in my headspace. In trying to be a healthy person after a bad relationship, I tabled finishing two posts about Klaine almost a year ago. While some of the references are out of date and I have no desire to spend any more time thinking about Klaine and the insipid behavior of Klainers (read: no, not all Klainers). But when tweets showing Klainers complaining about Brittana came across my Tumblr dash, along with comments borrowing text from our Brittana post, I realized outdated or not, things haven’t really changed at all.
So here it is, the Klaine post, down and dirty. We’ll start with the more serious problem in this first installment, poaching representation.
The Klainers within the Glee fandom have a reputation of so enthusiastically shipping their couple, they at times defy logic and don’t care who they trample to see their couple on screen. While this is perhaps a series of traits common to many die-hard shippers, the problem with Klainers is using the argument of LGBT representation.
This argument is made by Klainers selectively—usually ignoring the female faction of the LGBT community—to manipulate the show into giving their favorite couple screen time, and then turning around and attacking real LGBT people to achieve this same goal. Klaine is increasingly for straight fangirls and has little to do with LGBT representation anymore.
I want to make something very clear up front. First of all, I will always support the right of anyone to ship whichever couples they want; people of all sexual orientations can enjoy shipping couples of any combination of genders. What I do object to; however, is the appropriation of LGBT representation of gay men by a predominantly straight female audience for their own personal gain.
Well, tomorrow is the night. If you believe the spoilers, Brittana will actually talk to each other and possibly reunite in some capacity during Glee’s 100th episode. (Let’s also just hope like hell this isn’t Naya Rivera’s last episode—or Heather Morris’ for that matter.)
While Glee can never completely make up for the appalling way Brittana and Brittana fans repeatedly end up on the fast track to heartbreak in the past, I hope they take this opportunity to do better by giving Brittana something meaningful. They’ve got all our hopes up. After all, they sure look cute in this new promo picture!
And are great on Brittana’s remix of “Valerie.”