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9 Times Glee Tackled Real Life Problems

by Madison Rheam 3 years ago in entertainment
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Most of These Problems Are Not Easy to Take On

Throughout the series, Glee has tackled some serious problems teens are facing everyday in their high schools. Most of these problems are not easy to take on, and I give credit to everyone on the cast of Glee that made the show such a great hit and influence among teens everywhere.

1. Teen Pregnancy

Quinn Fabray was president of The Celibacy Club and a member of The God Squad. She seemed to be the perfect little church-going cheerleader until she became pregnant with Noah Puckerman's baby. Throughout the tough event of being pregnant in high school, Quinn figured it out and ended up giving up her daughter for adoption. Rachel's birth mother adopted Quinn's baby.

2. Transgenders

Unique is first presented to us at the season three finale. She is the lead vocalist of Vocal Adrenaline. At the season four debut, she transfers to McKinley High. She joins the glee club and asks the members to refer to her as 'she' and 'unique.' She explains that at first, she was shy about performing in front of people but later realized she could be confident if she presented herself in a feminine way. She was the first openly confident transgender character on the show.

3. School Shootings

  • S4 E18 Shooting Star

The New Directioners were carrying on with a normal glee club practice when they hear two gun shots. Will instructs the students to hide in the choir room and they turn the lights off. Everything goes quiet, and everyone is obviously scared. Together they begin sharing their secrets and confessing the things they've done in the past, with the fear that this is it. Will tries to keep the students calm but, realizing that Brittany is in the bathroom, Will exits the room and enters the girls bathroom to retrieve Brittany.

4. Domestic Violence

  • S3 E18 Choke

Coach Beiste comes to school with a black eye, and some of the New Directioners' boys were making fun of it. Coach Roz and Sue find out that her husband Cooter was the one that gave her that black eye. Santana jokes about the origin of the black eye. The three coaches teamed up and wanted to teach the glee club girls that domestic violence was not a choking matter. Sue assigned them to sing a song about getting out of a domestic violence situation. The girls later performed "Cell Block Tango" which the coaches explained completely missed the point of the assignment. Coach Beiste finally explains to the girls what really happened to her face, that Cooter was the one that hit her. He came home drunk one night and she hadn't done the dishes. She feared leaving him because she was scared no one would love her again. Beiste tells Coach Sue that she's going to stay at her sisters, and the girls are proud of the courage she's shown, except no one knows Beiste gave him another chance.

5. Sexual Assault

  • S4 E20 Lights Out

While the glee kids were confessing some of their most deepest secrets, Ryder confessed that when he was only eleven, his female teenage babysitter molested him. Sam and Artie both responded with a question as to why that really bothered him since he was basically living a fantasy for most teenage boys. This response is very common in female-to-male sexual assault cases. Ryder obviously was ashamed and embarrassed of this happening and he obviously didn't want it to happen considering he used the word, "molested." Later Kitty took Ryder to dinner where she explained to him that she was molested by her best friends older brother, and following it was so bad, she had to transfer schools.

6. Eating Disorders

S4 E6 Glease

This has been expressed several times during the series. The first appearance was S1 E16 "Home."

Mercedes joined the cheerios cheer squad and wanted to fit in like the rest of the girls. She decided to 'diet' or in her version just stop eating. She became irritable at lunch with her friends, stood up, and passed out. She was taken to the school nurse, and Quinn explained that she used to be overweight and she understands the feeling of starving yourself to be pretty. Then Quinn realized that if she's willing to eat right for her baby, she can do it for herself. She tells Mercedes she's beautiful and during the pep rally, Mercedes sings Christina Aguilera's, "Beautiful."

Later in the series, during Season 4, Marley tries to fit into her costume for the Grease musical. Kitty has been going behind Marley's back and sewing the costume smaller and smaller every night to make her feel bad about herself. Marley begins to purge to help her lose weight. Right before the performance she purged everything up so she could fit in her costume. Ryder caught her and told her to stop. Later at sectionals, they were performing and Marley passed out before they could finish the performance. Ryder thought she stopped purging, but she became addicted. She had become anorexic and she didn't realize the health risks until she passed out and ruined sectionals for the New Directioners.

7. Transgenders' Bathroom Rights

Unique Sings "If I Were a Boy"

  • S5 E5 The End of Twerk

Unique leaves class to use the bathroom. She walks into the girls' bathroom because that is where she feels most comfortable, except she runs into cheer bitch, Bree. Unique explains that she only uses the bathroom during classes so she doesn't make anyone feel uncomfortable, but she herself doesn't feel okay using the boys' bathroom.

Unique is then forced to use the boys' bathroom where she undergoes bullying that could've gone worse. The other boys in the room were making her feel uncomfortable. They ripped her wig off and flushed it down the toilet. Unique then begins singing Beyoncé's, "If I Were a Boy." The boys in glee club are ready to kick some ass, until Will explains to them that fighting isn't the answer.

Finally, Sue agrees that Unique needs her own bathroom, but instead puts a 'mystery' porta-potty bolted to the glee room's floor. Will begins escorting Unique to the faculty's bathroom every time she needs to use it, until Sue realizes how degrading it is. She finally gives Unique a key to the faculty bathroom where Unique feels safe.

Although this obviously isn't a solution, the cast did a great job of showing the current problems transgenders deal with every day going to the bathroom.

8. STDs

  • S5 E16 Tested

Artie is very popular at his new film school in New York, especially with the ladies. He is loving the attention he's receiving from the girls there, and jumps at any opportunity that presents itself, if you know what I mean. He later finds out that his new found sexual ways come at a cost to him. He tests positive for Chlamydia and realizes that he could quite possibly have spread it to his multiple hookups. When Artie returns to the apartment, Sam is furious to learn that Artie is not practicing safe sex, so Sam uses this opportunity to provide a lesson.

9. Interracial Relationships

Mercedes and Sam were the first interracial relationship to occur on Glee. In the final season, they rekindle their relationship in New York. Although they face some realistic problems as they look towards their future. Mercedes isn't sure if she wants to pursue a relationship with Sam because he's white. Finally, after consideration, she decided that to her there is no color in relationships.


About the author

Madison Rheam

HACC graduate with Associates Degree in Social Sciences, LGBTQ+, raging liberal, feminist.

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