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How Ugly Betty’s Justin Suarez Paved the Way for Glee’s Kurt Hummel

In Glee’s “Prom Queen” episode back at the end of season 2, an unlikely character won the title of prom queen: resident homosexual bullying victim Kurt Hummel. After Principal Figgins called his name, Kurt fled the gymnasium, crying, with boyfriend Blaine on his heels. “We thought that because no one was teasing us or beating us up [for being gay], no one cared,” Kurt said in the hallway, through tears. One drawn-out emotional scene later, Kurt finally got the resolve to enter the gymnasium and accept his crown and scepter, defiantly announcing: “Eat your heart out, Kate Middleton.”

Ugly Betty fans probably recognized the “Prom Queen” scene immediately. In season 4’s “Backseat Betty,” Justin, Betty’s gay nephew (who at the time of the episode was in the stages of questioning his sexuality), was mid-exiting his homecoming rally when a jock in a letter jacket announced Justin as the year’s “homecoming queen.” Justin turned around to face the stage, while scattered cheers and laughter were heard throughout the gym. Rather than flee crying like Kurt, Justin calmly accepted a tiara and flowers on the stage and took the mic. “Oh my god, thank you so much. I’m so honored,” he began, sounding like the typical bubbly homecoming queen. “Nothing can ruin this day, even this tacky baby’s breath, but, I mean, c’mon guys, I think you can do a little bit better for your queen.” Justin then gave the tiara to Hilda, who would have won homecoming queen back in her day had she not been pregnant with baby Justin.

Sure, Justin Suarez isn’t the first gay character ever on television. Recently on Glee, however, viewers saw Kurt lose his virginity to Blaine and his feelings leading up to the big event. I’d argue that we probably wouldn’t be seeing this New Directions couple get it on without the aid of Justin Suarez for a few reasons.

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