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Glee continued to put the spotlight on the underdog Friday when the Fox musical featured a 200-member transgender choir.
The singers, which were put together following a nationwide search with the assistance of LGBT-watchdog group GLAAD, were introduced as part of the dramedy’s transgender storyline featuring three-time Emmy-nominee Dot Marie Jones.
As was first introduced during the Jan. 16 episode, Jones’ Coach Shannon Beiste revealed that she was transitioning from a woman to a man. The football coach made her triumphant return during Friday’s appropriately titled “Transitioning” episode as Sheldon Beiste and found immediate support from former New Directions transgender student Wade “Unique” Adams (Alex Newell).
The choir backs Newell’s performance of “I Know Where I’ve Been,” from the musical Hairspray.
“This isn’t about tolerance; it’s really about coming home and coming home to who you really are and who you’re meant to be — and who you’re meant to be with,” executive producer/director Dante Di Loreto said in a clip promoting the episode (below).
The group included members from Birmingham, Denver and Atlanta — many of whom said they’d never been in a room with so many trans people before.
“This really is the face of America, and you hope that when people see this episode, they realize, ‘Hey, they look just like me,’ ” Di Loreto said.
Read more What’s Behind the Rise of Transgender TV
“We know [this storyline] will make a difference,” Jones told The Hollywood Reporter of the plot. “Look at all the things that all the kids on our show have gone through, everything that Chris Colfer and Kurt have gone through. Of any show on broadcast, it should be a Fox show because they are the risk takers. I don’t think even taking a risk is the right word. It’s just real.”
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