Coach Sheldon Bieste returned to McKinley High on Friday's episode of Glee, "Transitioining."
Last month, Coach Bieste (Dot Marie Jones) revealed that she was transgender and intended to transition to living as a man. Bieste is welcomed by trans student Unique (Alex Newell), who surprises the coach with a chorus of 200 other transgender people as they sing an uplifting version of "I Know Where I've Been" from the musical Hairspray.
"This isn't about tolerance; it's really about coming home and coming home to who you really are and who you're meant to be -- and who you're meant to be with," said Glee executive producer and the episode's director Dante Di Loreto. "This really is the face of America, and you hope that when people see this episode, they realize, 'Hey, they look just like me.' "
GLAAD held a nationwide search to recruit the 200 singers, many of whom said they'd never been in a room with so many trans people before.
"We know [this storyline] will make a difference," Jones told The Hollywood Reporter. "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."