Dot-Marie Jones‘ new Glee story line is just around the corner. The actress’ beloved character Coach Shannon Beiste is transitioning from a woman to a man, with the first episode of the arc premiering this month.
A new photo from the show introduces Coach Beiste post-transition for the first time. Now going by Sheldon, the teacher wears a green button-up with a striped tie and dons a scruffy beard. His curls have also been replaced with a more slicked-back hairstyle.
Glee first revealed the story line during its episode “Jagged Little Tapestry” last month. Coach Beiste opened up about the change to Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) and Sam (Chord Overstreet), who both, without a second thought, supported him unconditionally.
“I think Fox is amazing for putting this on broadcast television,” Jones told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. “We know it will make a difference. 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.”
The latest development comes amid other breakthroughs in the transgender community. Orange Is the New Black’s Laverne Cox became the first transgender person to land the cover of Time magazine and get nominated for an Emmy Award. The Amazon freshman comedy series Transparent, which tells the story of a transgendered person (played by Jeffrey Tambor), won Best Television Series for a Comedy or Musical at the Golden Globes on Jan. 11. In the real world, former Olympian and reality star Bruce Jenner is also in the process of transitioning from a man to a woman.
“Even for kids who are scared to come out: Talk to somebody. And if nobody will listen, you keep on until you find somebody who will listen,” Jones added to THR. “I just hope people take tonight’s show with an open heart and come away with a full heart.”
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