ENTERTAINMENT
01/17/2015 12:38 pm ET Updated Jan 17, 2015

'Glee' Character Comes Out As A Trans Man In Latest Episode

Fox

Warning: "Glee" spoilers!

"Glee" started its final season off with the much-anticipated "Frozen" cover, but its latest big storyline was even more powerful. During Friday's episode, “Jagged Little Tapestry," Coach Shannon Beiste, played by three-time Emmy nominee Dot Marie Jones, came out as a transgender man. In the episode, Beiste informs Sam and Sue (played respectively by Chord Overstreet and Jane Lynch) that he is taking time off to begin a medical transition.

On why this was the right time for the story arc, Jones told The Hollywood Reporter, "Like it or not, it's real life. I think Fox is amazing for putting this on broadcast television."

The "Glee" storyline comes at a time of slowly increasing representation of trans men and women in television. At last Sunday's 2015 Golden Globes, "Transparent" actor Jeffrey Tambor, who plays a transgender woman on the show, won the award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, which he dedicated to the transgender community. "Transparent" series creator Jill Soloway dedicated the show's win for Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy to Leelah Alcorn, a trans teen who committed suicide in December.

Jones says that her character's physical transformation is a "big transition" and will be seen around episode six. On why "Glee" is right to tell this story, the actress added, "We know it will make a difference."

Watch Jones' emotional scene:

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