Glee 'Transitioning': 200-strong transgender choir cheers on coach Beiste's return

Spoiler alert: May contain spoilers for UK viewers

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The Independent Culture

It’s known for shining a spotlight on LGBT issues, now Glee has featured a 200-member choir comprised of transgender singers from all over America.

The choir appears in the episode entitled ‘Transition’ in which sports coach Shannon Beiste, played by Dot Marie-Jones, returns to his job for the first time after announcing his gender reassignment.

The episode also marks the return of Unique, played by Alex Newell, who supports Coach Beiste by performing "I Know Where I’ve Been" from the musical Hairspray.

Coach Beiste played by Dot Jones

The group of singers was assembled with the help of US media watchdog the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), who called on trans extras to take part.

"This really is the face of America and you hope that when people see this episode they'll recognize, 'Hey, they look just like me,’” said episode director Dante Di Loreto.

“This isn't about tolerance, it's 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," he told GLAAD.



Many of the choristers admitted that they had never met so many other trans people in one place before.

Since its inception Glee has been exploring real-life LGBT issues, including exploring homophobic bullying through the character of Kurt played by Chris Colfer. The series also covered the challenges faced by transgender students when using toilet facilities at school.


The episode received a positive reception from viewers after it aired earlier this week, with actress Dot Jones, who plays Coach Beiste thanking fans on Twitter.

‘Transition’ aired in the US on Friday but has yet to be broadcast in the UK.