Groundbreaking Glee. On Friday night's "Jagged Little Tapestry" episode, Glee introduced a new transgender story line for Dot Marie Jones' character Shannon Beiste. In an emotional scene, the football coach reveals that she will be transitioning from a woman to a man.
Beiste made the revelation to Sue (Jane Lynch) and Sam (Chord Overstreet), explaining to the high school student that it's when "your outsides don't match how you feel on the inside." After Beiste's tearful speech, both Sue and Sam accept and support her.
Following the episode, Jones opened up about her characters new arc, and how she reacted to the news when show creator Ryan Murphy first brought up the idea.
"Ryan told me he had big plans for Beiste this season. I got the script and read it and it's not what I expected. I definitely didn't think it was this," Jones, 51, told The Hollywood Reporter. "I didn't want to let anybody down. I'd done the domestic violence story line before and having young girls look up to Beiste and looking at it now, it's just another vehicle to reach another group of people who are learning to be okay in your body."
For now, Jones' character will be sitting out the next couple of shows, but will return in episode six with more details about her transition. Her name will also go from Shannon to Sheldon.
"It's a big transition. A lot of people walked right past me and had no idea it was me. Hair and makeup did an incredible job. It's pretty awesome," Jones told THR. "The first time I looked in the mirror, I thought I looked like one of my brothers! It's just like any role you take on, you're just switching things around a bit."
"Like it or not, it's real life. I think Fox is amazing for putting this on broadcast television," she continued. "We know it will make a difference."
Watch Beiste open up about transitioning in the video above.
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