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Glee Debuts Transgender Character In Falsetto-Filled Disco Episode

Glee debuted a transgender character last night!

The character is a reserved boy named Wade who actually prefers to be a strong-minded girl named Unique. You can see Unique work a killer falsetto and five-inch heels in her performance of “Boogie Shoes” above. The whole episode is disco-inspired, with lots and lots of 70s outfits and groovy dancing.

Unique/Wade is played by Alex Newell, who told Queerty three weeks ago he had no idea what character he’d be playing on the show.

I wonder, did the recent controversy over the transgender Miss Universe contestant influence Ryan Murphy’s decision to write Alex into the script as a trans-woman-to-be?

Alex has one more episode as a guest star, so it’ll be interesting to see whether his character makes a decision to start dressing as a woman at school.

On:           Apr 18, 2012
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    • SebX

      I don’t think I’ve loved a performance more than this one in all of season 3. This kid is simply brilliant.
      Absolutely. LOVED. IT. :)

      Apr 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BSquared

      Alex was one of the finalist of “The Glee Project,” and he performed on that show in drag several times. Glad to see that character was developed for the show!

      Apr 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FreddyMertz

      Awesome episode!

      Apr 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aric

      Absolutely sensational performance.

      Easily the best Glee has ever delivered. This boy (He might want me to say girl actually) better go far.

      He needs to drop himself a single so I can stan appropriately

      Apr 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stephen

      wow–he was pretty amazing

      Apr 18, 2012 at 4:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John

      That’s one of the best things I’ve seen on Glee!

      Apr 18, 2012 at 4:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PattyM

      I don’t think that there is a connection between this episode of Glee and Jenna Talakova.

      The Glee episode must have been taped months ago.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChknBisct

      If RuPaul is Tyra Banks…then Alex Newell is Jennifer Hudson. (And yes it’s a fair comparison because Tyra was (is?) a musical artist.) Hope this kid goes far.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChknBisct

      …and I love that his character is “the love child of Mercedes and Kurt.”

      Apr 18, 2012 at 4:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jess b

      On the glee project, he did some drag, and ryan murphy seemed really interested in that, and it was hinted that they would consider having him play a trans*girl, so I don’t think it was because of the recent news with miss universe, although, it was nicely timed.

      I was really happy that they had a transgender character on the show, but I didn’t like that the constantly misgendered unique and called her “he” all the time. That said, it’s glee, so I expected it, and I enjoyed when she told kurt off a little and went out there as a girl and sang!

      Apr 18, 2012 at 6:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewazer

      I haven’t seen the episode but, this clip reads more as Drag than Transgendered. Great performance, but wanting to do drag doesn’t necessarily mean a person is transgendered.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 7:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Glee is fake, lolz

      The pitch correction and digital formant shifting are burning my ears. No thanks! HAHAHA you all really think these kids sing HAHAHA

      Apr 18, 2012 at 7:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • xixax

      Sensational performance! Loved this kid, what a doll.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 7:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kouros

      CAN YOU GUYS PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE show the reporter how to properly use a microphone. i didnt complain last time cause it was just low voices sometimes but this time u can’t hear what they say

      Apr 18, 2012 at 7:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PeterPiperBoy


      Apr 18, 2012 at 10:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Triple S

      Wow, his/her voice was the best I’ve ever heard! WAY better than Mercedes’ voice! I’ve given away the show though as it’s become way to unrealistic and is really an idealistic or melodramatic fantasy now. Ah well. At least the music is still good, you know, if you get rid of the computer voices most of them have.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 11:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kick

      Wow, he is amazing. What a voice. He wants to be on Broadway. I can’t wait to see him. What a natural (I’m sure it was hard work) talent.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 11:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Azgaard

      @ewazer: The character is transgendered, not the actor playing her.

      Apr 19, 2012 at 2:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh, ok

      He’s by far the most amazing voice to ever appear on the show. He blew everyone out of the water.

      I’m amazed that he somehow lost the Glee Project. The notes he was hitting and his vocal range was incredible(even if Glee auto-tunes like crazy you can’t fake range).

      The character Unique was pretty well thought out too, but she was wasted by this episode which had barely any story. I hate how this show has become nothing but songs with no story or substance. Overly sugary 4 minute scenes in between 5-6 minute song and dance numbers do not a tv show make. It’s like one giant music video.

      Apr 19, 2012 at 3:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danny

      I like that the show simply and elegantly explained the difference between Kurt and Wade, when Wade said to Kurt “You identify as a man”.

      Apr 19, 2012 at 5:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Belize

      @Glee is fake, lolz: LOL. The amount of brash stupidity and unwarranted self importance behind your comment (and username) is almost too pathetic to respond to.

      Of course it’s fake, it’s a story about a FICTIONAL glee club from a FICTIONAL school in a FICTIONAL town. Also, being able to sing and being able to sing well are two different things albeit their obvious connection, kid. Look it up.

      Apr 19, 2012 at 12:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spike

      GLEE has set the bar yet again on presenting a positive thought provoking subject as it pertains to diversity and acceptance of diversity. Genius to have Kurt and Mercedes initial response to be less then supportive . . .

      Apr 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • raina

      Uh guys, use correct pronouns when referring to the character: “Unique” is a SHE, not a “he,” not a he/she.

      Apr 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Peter Hockley

      Great voice!

      Jun 21, 2012 at 9:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PattyM

      Yeah. The reporter’s mike handling was terrible. Parts of Wade’s words were inaudible and most of those of the two women behind them was gone.

      I still loved Unique’s performance and hope that she becomes a recurring character.

      Jun 21, 2012 at 1:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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