We’re a bit late jumping on the bandwagon, but my wife and I recently watched the first season of Glee Fox TV’s comedic take on a high school glee club — and are now, according to the lingo, certified “Gleeks.”
Why are we so smitten? Well, for one, the characters are expertly cast, and the singing, dancing and, especially, acting, are remarkable. The young stars have really gotten into the heads of adolescents and given us a true portrait of what high school is like.
Sort of. Because, in truth, much of the appeal of Glee is pure escapism. McKinley High is a mythical kind of school, a place where even the bad guys (and girls) are endearing and the worst thing that can befall you is being doused with a Slurpie in the hall or — if you’re Kurt, the one gay glee club member ritually tossed into the trash bin by the football players at the start of school. (Mr. Schuester, the Spanish teacher and glee club director, drives by the trash bin a few times, and barely notices. So no harm done.)
The real world is not so benign. A report released yesterday by the national gay rights group Campus Pride found that nearly one quarter (23 percent) of gay and bisexual students face harassment on college campuses, and more than a third (33 percent) “have seriously considered leaving their institution due to the challenging climate,” according to a news release accompanying the report.