Glee, a primetime TV show, prides itself on exploring relevant issues that young people today deal with, particularly those pertaining to sexuality. While many shows have characters who identify as lesbian and gay, this is one of the few I’ve seen that features the struggles of a female character, Unique, who identifies as transgender. However, off the stage, Unique is forced to portray herself as the boy Wayde, the name and gender she was given at birth. While Unique is extremely talented and wants to play the part of Rizzo in the school production, she decides to drop out of the play as her parents are concerned about her safety.
Recently in the class, we have discussed a lot about the issues that transgender adults face medically, legally, financially, etc. I think that Glee, however, brings to light the issues of safety and security that young people in the high school environment feel regarding their gender expression. It is refreshing to see a character who is so ambitious and talented serve as model for other young people who are dealing with these same concerns. I hope that throughout the season, Glee continues to discuss these important transgender youth issues.