Life’s too short to even care at all, whoa

I’m losing my mind, losing my mind, losing control

These fishes in the sea, they’re staring at me, whoa, whoa

A wet world aches for a beat of a drum, whoa

If I could find a way to see this sane, I’d run away

To some fortune that I, I should have found by now

I’m waiting for this cough syrup to come down, come down

Narrator: Hi yall! My name is Anna Pirolli and welcome to my podcast. We will be diving into some rough topics surrounding sexuality, suicide, and mental health. 

You are listening to the song, “Cough Syrup” covered by Darren Chris. “Cough Syrup” was originally written and sung by a band called Young the Giant. I chose this song because of the context it had surrounding suicide and sexuality, which differed from the original meaning of the song. Using a variety of sources, we will discuss and analyze various articles and videos surrounding our topics. Stay tuned!

Narrator: In the article, “ Coming Out as Popular Media Practice: The Politcs of Queer Youth Coming Out of Youtube” Sander De Ridder and Frederik Dhaenens discuss the virality of coming out on social media, specifically Youtube. Popular YouTubers like Connor Franta, it has opened up a new way of finding a place of acceptance and community. 

Karofsky did not find solace online after transferring to his new High School. He was cyberbullied by his teammates and classmates. We do not see until a few seasons later that he found success in finding boyfriends with the use of social media and online dating.

Narrator: In the article, “High school coaches’ perceptions of their efficacy to work with lesbian, gay, and bisexual athletes”, Meghan Halbrook and Jack C. Watson II discuss the ways for athletes in the LGBTQ+ community. In 2008, the NCAA hosted an event to discuss the importance of inclusion. A survey was conducted to see the efficiency of this.

This would have been hugely beneficial for Karofsky and other sports players.


Narrator: In the article, The Influence of Online Experiences: The Shaping of Gay Male Identities”, Zachary Giano dives into how people are discovering their sexual identities with the use of the Internet. The Internet has allowed people who felt that they didn’t belong to find people that they relate to. Dating and meeting new people has never been easier (and scarier). According to the article, Gay and bisexual men have had an easier time finding relationships online versus in person.

After a few seasons, we catch up with Karofsky. He has found love from using online dating, which has been very useful and beneficial for him. This has happened because he learned to accept and love himself.

Narrator: That was a snippet of “Love Thy Neighbor” from the Netflix musical “The PROM”. The musical centers around a young lesbian who is having great difficulty getting her school to allow her to bring a girl to prom. A group of Broadway “jokes” find her story and use it as a way to get their reputation up. Through song and dance, they are able to help this young girl find herself and teach the rest about acceptance.   

Glee is a musical TV show. The characters sing popular pop and song tunes when it fits with the storyline. Music is a great way to express yourself and Glee did a great job with picking the perfect songs. “Cough Syrup” was written by a band called Young The Giant. They released the song in 2010 to express their frustration with living in the suburbs and trying to make it in the music world. In Glee, the meaning of “Cough Syrup” and the song changed with Karofsky’s storyline. *Plays chorus of cough syrup while talking* With the new analysis, Cough Syrup is a metaphor for momentary satisfaction. Karofsky is contemplating suicide because he is in so much pain and feels that maybe suicide is his best solution.

Narrator: In the article, “Representing Sexuality: an Analysis of Coming Out in Contemporary Film”, Sydney Dye discusses how the LGBTQ+ community was represented in cinema then and today. Dye breaks it down by dividing things into sections and gave 2 movie examples. Dye uses the 2 movies, “The Imitation Game” and Love, Simone to dissect how the 2 protagonists and their character development as someone in the LGBTQ+ community. 

“Glee”, being a  drama show deals with a lot of controversies about how they deal with certain topics. They did a good job with Karofsky’s storyline because it showed the story arch of him before he came to be, during, and post where he felt fully accepted by himself and by others.

Narrator: In the article, “What TV Gets Wrong About Mental Health,” Agnes Costello discusses harm in showing mental health on TV. A lot of the time, there is an inaccurate portrayal of depression and suicide. Costello states that when someone experiencing depression or other mental health issues and sees others experiencing mental health issues (on TV) can make that person’s mental health worse. The behavior shown on TV is dramatized for effect. Since media is widely consumed, shows have a great opportunity to talk about important issues and depict them accurately according to Costello.

Narrator: In the article, “How the Netflix Series 13 Reasons Why is a Potential Trigger for Suicide and Mental Health,” Ben Mahoney discusses how the hit Netflix show falsely showcased mental health. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for people ages 10-24. The show did not have mental health professions during the making and writing of the show. This is an issue because kids watching the show are heavily influenced by what they see in the media. 

Narrator: In the article, “Why Coming Out has a Different Meaning for Queer/Trans People of Color.” Shervin Kayvon discusses the struggle with racial identity and sexual identity for someone of color. Being a person of color is already very difficult. In a survey handed out, POC is more likely to say that they are POC than being identified based on their sexuality. There is a lot of hate within the POC community for those that are part of the and is a very sensitive topic.

“Glee” has a gay storyline surrounding one of the main characters named Santana Lopez. Her grandmother does not accept her due to religious beliefs and refuses to attend her wedding. Ryan Murphy, the creator of the show, explores how religion plays a big part in people’s perception of the LGBTQAI+ community and how sometimes it doesn’t matter how close you are to someone, if you are part of the community, you can be kicked out of the family.

Narrator: This is the theme song for the popular Netflix reality show, Queer Eye. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy first aired in 2003. It was then rebooted for Netflix in 2018. A big lesson that these men try to emulate is the meaning of masculinity. We, as a society have put labels on what it means to be a man, and we, as a society have shamed those that do not fit into those boxes. The Fab 5’s mission throughout each episode is to help their customers see the beauty in themselves and to not be ashamed of who they are.  

Karofsky is a tall, buff white teenager who is the quarterback of the High School football team. Already, he has to fit a certain role in order to fit in. When he realizes he is gay, he has a hard time accepting that because he is no longer the stereotypical football player. Fortunately, he eventually gets the help he needs and learns to accept himself and surround himself with supporting friends.

Narrator: In the final article, “Why Do So Many Queer People Catfish as Another Gender”, Bobby Box discusses the reasoning behind catfishing. People who are not “out” yet or are exploring their sexuality can create fake profiles and meet people online as their catfish. Catfishing is presenting yourself as someone you are not. There are various scenarios and examples given in the article to what various catfishers were thinking and why they were not comfortable talking to someone like themselves. 

This takes a different path in my talk and discussion on mental health and sexuality. The popular TV reality show, “Catfish” is all about people not being okay with themselves and feeling that they need to hide behind someone else. Karofsky was in the closet and took out his frustration by bullying Kurt. He hit behind his popularity and was not willing to accept who he truly was.

Narrator: Thank you so much for listening to my podcast and I hope you enjoyed it. Have a good day!