OKAY, LIKE, you gays remember the 1989 hit horror-comedy film Heathers, right? And you remember that our heroes attend the funeral of a dude they murdered, which they get away with by staging his death to look like a gay suicide? (If you haven't seen it, it's a great movie, perhaps my favorite of all time! But of course you've seen it, you're cool.)
So they're at the funeral of this dim-bulb jock, and his meat-headed dad makes a somewhat meat-headed but impassioned speech about his family's loss that ends with him bellowing I LOVE MY DEAD GAY SON! And our villain-hero cynically whispers "How do you think he'd feel if his son had a limp wrist with a pulse?" and our hero-hero laughs at first, then immediately realizes that the whole thing is insane and sociopathic, that she has so fully dehumanized everyone involved as a defense mechanism that she's now able to hold herself smugly superior to the bereaved family of the dude she literally murdered. (Seriously, it's a great movie!)
The point is, she does laugh at first, out of the recognition that JD is quite probably right: that Kurt is granted as a dead gay person a kind of heartfelt, vocal generosity that he would not have received from his family and community if he had legitimately tried to come out as a young man in love with his football teammate, asking people to support his happiness and his future.
And to me that scene sums up so powerfully why Bury Your Gays is insidious. It's not that I want to wrap all queer characters in cotton bunting and never have bad things happen to them ever. It's that edge of bitter laughter that's always there when I think about how much easier it is for people to like a safely buried gay than one who might continue to exist, making uncomfortable demands.
It's that 30 years after I first saw the 1989 hit horror-comedy film Heathers, it's relevant that so many shows are so willing to assert their love and tolerance at a funeral, when they're still so timid about extending either one when it comes to a limp wrist with a pulse.
I mean, there is something funny about it. I laugh every time, just like Veronica does. I suppose that's my defense mechanism.
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