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“Y’know what they call a unicorn without a horn? A friggin’ horse.” - Disability, Sexuality, and Passing in Glee

With an average seasonal viewership of between nine and ten million, the television show Glee holds a prominent place in the American prime-time lineup. Having recently resumed its weekly broadcast on the Fox network, the television show, now in its third season, centers around the trials and tribulations of the New Directions, a glee club at the fictional McKinley High School. Composed of social outcasts of varying race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability, the group prides itself on allowing anyone who auditions to join; however, their theme of acceptance is not reflected by the school and the club, as such, faces numerous setbacks.

One of the recurring themes on Glee is that of gender/sexuality and disability. Of particular note are two characters: one is Kurt Hummel, a male student who identifies as gay, is regularly bullied and, though still facing personal doubts, has become more self-assured with the progression of the last two seasons. The other character is the newly introduced Sugar Motta, a female student who claims to have self-diagnosed Asperger’s Disorder, which she believes gives her the equivalence of diplomatic immunity and allows her to say anything she wishes. Within this paper, I’d like to specifically focus upon these two characters as they are portrayed in Season Three, Episode Two; a recap of this installment may be found here.

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