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FIRST LOOK: Glee's Coach Beiste as a Man

Glee: A First Look at Coach Beiste as a Man
Dot-Marie Jones
Ricky Middlesworth

02/04/2015 AT 08:50 AM EST

When Glee's Dot-Marie Jones was first told her character Coach Beiste was going to reveal she is transgender, the actress had a small hesitation – but not for the reason you might think.

"I just didn't want to let down the girls who are straight and tomboys that my character represented the last four seasons,' " Jones tells PEOPLE of her character transitioning from female to male on the FOX show's sixthand final – season. "But I got the script and I was, like, 'Oh my God. This is amazing.' "

Coach Beiste will reveal his new look on the Feb. 13 episode of the musical dramedy (Friday at 9 p.m. ET), and PEOPLE has the exclusive first look.

FIRST LOOK: Glee's Coach Beiste as a Man| Gay and Lesbian, Glee, TV News

Dot-Marie Jones

Greg Gayne / FOX

At a time when members of the transgender community – including Orange Is the New Black's Laverne Cox, Transparent's Alexandra Billings, and Olympian Bruce Jenner – are more prevalent than ever Jones says she is "honored" to be trusted with portraying the first series-regular character to come out as transgender and transition on a broadcast television network.



"I had thousands of Tweets from people. I was crying," Jones says of the reaction after her character announced his transition on the Jan. 16 episode of Glee. "Members of the transgender community were saying, 'I never thought I’d see myself on TV. You have no idea what this means to me. Now, maybe people will get it.' "

Jones relished the opportunity to portray a transgender person and she credits her hair and makeup team for helping her fully immerse herself into the role.

"People walk by me and I forget that I'm in [the hair and makeup to make me look like a man]," she says. "I'll say, 'Hey.' And they'll say, 'Hi.' And then a few second later, they'll run back, 'Oh my God! Dot!' It's awesome."

For more on Dot-Marie Jones's new look on Glee, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday.

And for more information about transgender issues, visit the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, and PFLAG.
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