Before watching this week’s episode of Glee (I watch it online ’cause I don’t have a teevee), a few eager fans decided to spoil my surprise homoparty by telling me, via formspring, that SANTANA IS A LESBIAN. I thought, “Is this a joke?” and then I thought, “but Santana is like the slutty one who sleeps with all the boys, there’s no way SHE’s the lesbian, this must be a trick of some kind,” and then, much later than I’d like to admit, I remembered that I, too, was the slutty one who slept with all the boys.
And so here we are.
I get it. I mean I get Santana — where she’s coming from. I mean I think I’ve been there too. I didn’t figure myself out gradually and then suddenly or even just gradually. I figured it out suddenly, all at once, like Santana does here, and a million puzzle pieces fell from the sky and over time, found their place in the f*cked up scattershot damaged resources of my once-incomprehensible memories and desires. Like Santana, I didn’t think making out with girls meant I could ever want to “be with” one.
I’ve never really related to a teenaged-teevee storyline before.
I didn’t, like Paige McCullers, enjoy my date with a boy until he kissed me (the kiss was fine, too). My family hadn’t been waiting all my life for me to tell them what they already knew, like Kurt Hummel. I hadn’t been consciously living a lie because I was afraid of my family’s reaction, like Emily Fields or Emily Fitch. I hadn’t known since I was 12 and fell in love with my future girlfriend like Naomi Campbell. I didn’t just know/accept it all along (or eventually reneg on it) like Tea. I wasn’t coaxed out of the closet by an already-ok-with-being-gay paramour, like Paige Michaelchuck or Marissa Cooper or Spencer Carlin was. But Santana — Santana I get.
And isn’t it amazing? That we have a choice now? That Willow is no longer speaking for the entire group?
Episode 215: Sexy
Gwyneth Paltrow, playing Cameron Diaz playing Holly Holiday, is back at McKinley (I almost called it Rosewood!) to teach Health or whatever educational hybrid works best for this week’s plotline.
Emma, fresh out of a not-productive Celibacy Club meeting with Quinn and Rachel, squeals that sex “is not for kids and not for adults” ’cause the only way to get KY Jelly between Emma’s legs is to tell her it’s hand sanitizer. Also, outfits like these don’t make for quick-release nudity:
Meanwhile in the hallway — WERE WE EVER SO YOUNG — Santana’s Black Panther Blazer is interested in sheltering Brittany’s bird-related sweater set via cuddle puddle and incest porn.
Santana: “Hey, Brit-Brit. So, how about you and I pop in some Sweet Valley High this evening and get our cuddle on?”
Brittany: “Look, I’d love to get my sweet lady-kisses on, but I haven’t been feeling sexy lately. I think I have a bun in the oven. Please don’t tell anyone, okay, especially Artie.”
Santana begins telling everyone before finishing telling Brittany she won’t tell anyone. Anyhow, false alarm! When Will asks if Brittany’s gotten a doctor to verify the impending birth of what will surely be the weirdest baby ever, we learn that Brittany mixed up “the voyage of sperm up her vaginal canal” with “the voyage of birds flying through the sky, landing and building nests outside her perrywinkle window.”
As Brittany explains her predicament, the reaction shots are priceless:
Will, wearing denim-on-denim (not really, but it does look like denim-on-denim, so), is ready to get “deep into their setlist” in anticipation of Regionals, that massively competitive season-ending event oddly attended by no more than three other musical groups, one of which is always a gimmick (old people! deaf people!) BUT unfortunately, Will now sees he’s got a bunch of future genital warts crowding up the music room and it’s time for sexual education.
This education will not take place in sexual education class, where we’ve already flash-backed to see Mercedes have AIDS panic over Cucumbers (the same thing happened to me once but instead of cucumbers it was this gun-toting, stab-wound-sporting, small-time boxer who I met at The Olive Garden) but instead, in Glee Club.
Since nobody dates outside of Glee Club, at least you’re taking care of all these couples as packages and LET’S BE REAL Glee Club is actually a pilot music therapy program for kids at risk. In this case it’s all the best looking kids in school at risk of growing up and becoming Republicans if you don’t keep ’em humble and slushied and singing like a bunch of homosexual pansies every week.
Speaking of packages, Holly Holiday’s sex ed concept is that you’ve gotta “hide the vegetables” just like Jessica Seinfeld suggests in her cookbook about making sure children eat vegetables. Apparently the fact that “sex ed” is already pre-packaged in “sex,” which I believe is already pretty fucking interesting, especially to teenangers, is not enough. In order to REALLY REACH THE KIDS, Holly knows sex ed should be wrapped in sex and also SINGING AND DANCING, which, to be fair, is how everything should be wrapped. (But really did anyone fall asleep or fail to pay attention during sex ed? Condoms, WHAT A SNOOZER, let’s get back to The War of 1812 already! No. The problem with sex ed isn’t that it’s boring and kids don’t listen — it’s that most schools DON’T HAVE IT. I’ll stop now before I get incensed.)
Holly: “Sex. It’s just like hugging, only wetter.”
Holly, who picked up her jacket either from the future or The Hard Rock Cafe, calls out the kids for being sexually misinformed, like how Finn believed in pregnation via jacuzzi jets (although in a pinch, it beats a turkey baster) and Holly says this misinformation will end “right here, right now.”
How? By everyone acting completely inappropriate and singing Joan Jett while thrusting their tits into the air like spastic zoo animals. Beats chlamydia every time.
Although it seems like Holly got an excessive amount of screen time in Brittany’s dance number, what with all her singing and dancing and lead vocalizing — THIS ALWAYS HAPPENS — I’m not mad at this scene. Will resists the urge to get all molesty and instead holds up a sign reading “TOO MUCH?” which Rachel should probs snag for safekeeping to whip out next time Will gyrates his way into a school assembly.
She ends with some words to the wise:
Holly: “Just remember, when you have sex with somebody, you’re having sex with everybody. And everybody’s got a random.”
Sue magically finds Kurt (“Porcelain”) and Blaine at the Coffee Shop, where she prepares herself a potion of sugar packets, vanilla syrup and heavy whipping cream while informing the boys they’ll need sex appeal to win at regionals, which is utter nonsense.
Meanwhile at McKinley, where nobody’s got time for lattes or syrup, Lauren lights Puck’s loinfire by suggesting sex is in their future. I hope so, I’ve had enough of this chatty foreplay and am ready for the dramatic relationship part and subsequent Ballads to begin.
Lauren: “Puckerman, today is your lucky day.”
Puck: “You’re finally gonna let me motorboat those twins?”
Lauren: “Remember when I told you I had a master plan? Here it is.” [DRAMATIC PAUSE] “Can you think of a celebrity who released a tape of their intimate relations that DIDN’T make them more famous?”
Puck: “If this is going where I think it’s going, I may need to sit down.”
Lauren: “Rachel Berry wants to be a famous singer. I just want to be famous. Doing that number for Glee Club was my first step towards being a star. I wanna be like a Kardashian, I want a TV show and a fragrance. It’ll be called Zizes. And the slogan will be “you just got zized.”
I will buy ten bottles of Zizes and I will stir-fry my breakfast in it. I will baptize my baby in Zizes and I’m not even Christian.
Meanwhile in an abandoned warehouse I swear just got busted with $16 million dollars of cocaine on The Wire episode I saw earlier today, The Warblers are putting on a private performance for a bunch of schoolgirls from their “sister school” to see if The Warblers are sexy enough to wow the adult judges who will be assessing the team based on vocal abilities, dancing and choreography.
The passion in the warehouse reaches foam-party proportions and Kurt makes sexy faces that remind me of karaoke on the Rosie Cruise but Blaine isn’t a fan/is an asshole.
Blaine: “Are you okay? You kept making those weird faces during the whole song.”
Kurt: “Those aren’t weird faces, those are my sexy faces.”
Blaine: “It looked like you were having gas pains or something.”
Kurt: “Great. How are we supposed to get up on the stage at regionals and sell sexy to the judges when I have as much sexual appeal and knowledge as a baby penguin?”
This image exists on the internet:
Holly catches Lauren & Puck checking out online sex tapes as they plan for One Night in Zizes and lets them in on a little secret we all recognize from the Parents Television Council — that shit be child porn and they best not do it. Holly throws “my sex tape with JD Salinger was a disaster” out there like it isn’t THE BEST LINE EVER. Someone oughta run into the rye and catch that sucker and put it on a t-shirt.
In Santana’s noir/reggae-themed Boudoir, Brittany tries to bring up feelings again. Last time Brittany wanted to talk about her feelings for Santana, Santana knocked Brittany’s idea of doing a duet to Melissa Etheridge, which drove Brittany STRAIGHT into Artie’s arms. So.
Brittany: “I need to talk to you. I really like it when we make out and stuff–”
Santana: “Which isn’t cheating because –”
Brittany: “The plumbing’s different.”
Brittany: “But when Artie and I are together we talk about things like feelings.”
Brittany: “Because with feelings it’s better.”
Santana: “Are you kidding? It’s better when it doesn’t involve feelings. I think it’s better when it doesn’t involve eye contact.”
Brittany: “I don’t know I guess just don’t know how I feel about us.”
Santana: “Look. Let’s be clear here — I’m not interested in any labels, unless it’s on something I shoplift.”
Santana doesn’t even buy clothes. Clothes just want to be on her.
Brittany: “I don’t know, Santana, I think we should talk to somebody — like an adult. This relationship is really confusing for me.”
Santana: “Breakfast is confusing for you.”
Brittany: “Well sometimes it’s sweet and sometimes it’s salty. What if I have eggs for dinner. Then what is it?”
Between the storks and the Novocaine, there’s a little Buddha in Brittany’s sage cerebrum.
Holly brings the girls into her chamber/sushi bar to sit on the floor. Why are we sitting on the floor, they ask. “Because we’re in Japan!” Holly jokes, ruining a recapper’s opportunity to make fun of them for sitting on the floor like they’re in Japan.
Truly embracing the hokiest, most unappealing aspects of the lesbian experience, Holly christens this event as “the sacred sharing sexy circle,” which again, is better than any joke I could ever make about it, and Holly begins by asking the girls if either could be lesbians. They shrug and say they don’t know, which is beautiful, because they didn’t say OH MY GOD NO EW which is I think the required response according to the FCC rulebook.
Santana says she likes girls and guys, but also — “I made out with a manequin. I even had a sex dream about a shrub that was in the shape of a person.”
Holly recalls her sweet sapphic swing parties at her all-women’s college and admits she “still feels a little tingle when I hear Ani DiFranco,” and these two little girls (this little girl breaks furniture, this little girl breaks laws) are about to learn that love is a piano dropped from a four-story window.
Brittany doesn’t know how she feels ’cause Santana won’t talk about it. Although Brittany is an easily-manipulated sponge, Santana isn’t exactly fondling these homosexy desires.
I know right, this is like America’s Next Top Model when they’re trying to make you think Lisa’s gonna be eliminated but it’s really Kim.
It seems like — with respect to coming out stories — most girls saw a door. Maybe you had gone in but kept it a secret, maybe you stood it front of it every afternoon debating whether or not today would be the day you’d enter. Maybe you opened and closed it constantly, or gayly dashed back and forth through it. Maybe your family or friends were blocking the door.
But some of us never even saw the door, even with nobody blocking it, and once it was opened we fell straight in. A friend opened that door for me. I never, ever, ever in ten million years, would’ve opened it myself.
This scene, I think, is when Holly opened that door for Santana.
Blaine tries to teach Kurt sexyfaces but instead reminds Kurt that he’s awkward, and also really bitchy when made uncomfortable. Blaine consequently steps into an alternate universe where it’s appropriate to go ask your friend’s Dad to tell your friend about boners by confronting said Dad at the auto-shop to suggest he give Kurt a little sex ed talk. Kurt’s Dad gamely considers the suggestion because he’s AngelFather of the Year.
The girls have chosen to work out their feelings via song. They’ve chosen “Landslide,” which is a bona fide eternal tearjerker. I’d cry to Landslide if they played it in the middle of The Office.
So this happens, and I cry like the end of Brokeback Mountain crying. It wasn’t Beaches crying, or even necessarily My Girl crying, but it was a little more than when Justin’s Mom came to PFLAG. I don’t even know what happened I was too busy crying and projecting.
I believe there were some vague undefined glances from Brittany to Santana and from Santana to Brittany just uncertain enough to give you a door into projecting the hell out of this scene.
For me it begins with how you don’t ever want to want anything ’cause you don’t want to get hurt. Feelings are uncontrollable, messy. Why would I put those in someone else’s hands when that someone else has made it clear they’re not interested in carrying it. You just don’t even GO THERE. Santana hasn’t even CONSIDERED IT. You can see that all over her face. Like I said, she was too busy sucking the chrome off Sam’s Cadillac to see the door.
Then something happens that forces you to extract your feelings from your gut and stare at them: your potential paramour actually leaves her wife, or confesses that she likes you, or you consider, for the first time, that you could be bisexual or gay for real.
Then this door swings open and you run through it and realize on the other side is a possibility brighter than anything burned where you just came from. It’s been there all along.
So you sit up there in front of everyone and think “what if I was with this person.” You think “everyone’s looking at us and it looks okay so far.” Santana is presenting herself in a suggestive context and as of yet no hell has broken loose.
It’s like sticking your toes in the pool.
When the song ends Brittany asks, “Do you really feel that way?” and Santana nods and they hug. This is the first moment Glee has ever felt real to me.
Brittany seems to usually be thinking “I like chips,” but here she’s giving off an “I like Santana” vibe. I mean this scene was so intense I didn’t even notice that 1995 had been calling Brittany that whole time regarding that LL Bean/Blossom dress they’d like returned to its rightful century.
Rachel: “Can I just applaud this trio for exploring the uncharted world of Sapphic charm? Brava. Brava.”
Santana: “Look, just because I sang a song with Brittany doesn’t mean you can put a label on me. I want to make that clear.”
Police label anyone attacking Santana as a Code 45-11…. a suicide.
The Celibacy Club, dressed in uniforms snagged from the employees of Disneyworld’s Frontierland banana stand, perform “Afternoon Delight” in front of a giant photographic montage of Old Country Buffet’s dessert bar while the audience snickers because “Afternoon Delight” is about sex, not about coconuts!
Brittany stands up and claps. I think that means she’s gay.
Kurt’s Dad decides it’s time to have the sex talk.
Kurt’s Dad: “Believe me, I wanna do this even less than you do. It’s gonna suck for both of us. But we’re gonna make it through together and we’ll be better men for it.”
Was this scene written by gay men who wished their fathers had known it was indeed possible to discuss sex with a gay teenage son? Because he kinda knocks this one out of the ballpark. Kurt accepts these pebbles with a bitchy sneer but respectfully tosses his Dad a genuine “thank you” at the end.
It’s easy to get fan-fictiony on this scene and get all flowery and sentimental in hopes of touching your heart on a very simple, trite level and I don’t wanna do that. I’m trying not to do that.
From the comments on our quickie last night it seems like everyone related to it for a different reason — like a lot of you realized your sexuality ’cause you fell in love with your BFF. Like Santana, I did have a girl BFF I made out with sometimes, but I never wanted more than that, really. So I relate in my own way (more on this in a minute) which isn’t necessarily your way. This is why we need fiction and why I’ll never “get” reality TV — we read novels and watch scripted television because a good story can mean something to everyone. There’s no absolute truth because it’s not real. We can all keep this scene in our own way.
Was Santana always written this way? No clue. But it’s also not impossible in real life for a human to hop suddenly from one storyline to the other. Sometimes there is no gradient. There was one life and then there was my next life and the switch was sudden and extreme. In the first life, I had sex with boys. A lot of boys. It seemed that having slept with such a significant number of male humans certified my sexuality was, beyond any shadow of a doubt and beyond any emotional attachments to female friends and beyond any enjoyment gleamed from sometimes making out with girls, straight as an arrow.
There’s two major types of sex, and then a bunch of subcategories, obviously, but the two types are With Feelings and Without Feelings. And Sex Without Feelings isn’t really very similar to the other kind. Liking it, for some people, has nothing to do, ultimately, with your sexuality or love or anything. Focusing so much on Sex Without Feelings to decide Who You Are isn’t always effective/efficient and it seems like that’s what Santana has been doing all this time.
There’s this fear — “what would people say about us” — and you’re afraid to take it out and look at it so instead it just sits there in your subconscious, making you bitchy. There’s a fear of fear. An understanding that if feelings are never discussed, you’ll never be pressed to act on them.
Yes, your friends and family will still love you. But it’s difficult to admit that you care about your enemies, too, and what they might say about you, especially when you’re used to being the quickest, sharpest tongue in the brawl. That’s what we do, those of us who are afraid to feel, because that attitude functions as a shield and a warning.
I realized watching this that this was my second television-induced sobfest this week because on Monday, Paige on Pretty Little Liars said her thing about how “if I say it out loud — if I say ‘I’m gay’ — the whole world will change.”
And then I thought — well, if you count Betty and Tea, Maya and Emily and Paige, and now Santana and (to a degree) Brittany — there are a shit-ton of queer girls on our teevee right now. There’s also Franky being all genderqueer over in the UK.
We owe this prevalance, I think, to what happened in September and October. We had to die for them to realize our stories needed to be told (by someone besides Ilene Chaiken). ‘Cause we all deserve our own Young Nelson. There have never been more teenaged characters struggling with their sexuality on television than there are right now.
We have voices now. We had to die first. To make it politically incorrect for anyone to vehemently protest seeing gay kids on TV. Because how can you do that, when they’re being bullied like that, when it’s killing them. Just let Santana and Brittany make out, you know?
There’s a part at the end of “Landslide” when Santana and Brittany hug and they flash to Quinn right quick and her face says “The feeling of Finally” and that feeling is a smile. That was a nice moment, too.
I could be mad here that Brittany says she can’t break up with Artie for Santana, but instead I’ve chosen to believe that eventually, she will. I feel like this is how those things turn out. And Brittany’s too stupid, I think, to realize that, regardless of what you’ve built your life around and how afraid you might be, it’s worth it to change everything for TRUE LOVE. Isn’t it?
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