Glee Project Second Season Cast Includes Transgender Man and Out Lesbian

Oxygen’s The Glee Project announced their second season cast today, which includes transgender man Tyler Ford and out lesbian singer Dani Shay.

Tyler is a student at Vanderbilt University and has been performing for 11 years. He is half black, half white and Jewish and lists his biggest musical influences as Lady Gaga and Sia. Tyler was interested in being on The Glee Project because they “really want you to be yourself.” He looks forward to having the chance to sing with Darren Criss if he wins the Glee role. Watch Tyler’s interview session below where he talks about singing with his idol, Sara Bareilles.

Though Tyler is a newcomer to the spotlight, fellow contestant Dani, a self-described “lesbian who looks like Justin Bieber,” gained fame after her Justin Bieber parody “What The Hell” went viral, which has since garnered over 5 million views. The 23-year-old Dani parlayed her internet fame to an appearance on America’s Got Talent this past summer where she made it to the Top 48. Dani would like to play an androgynous female who walks away from her Mormon upbringing if she wins the role on Glee. Check out her interview video where she talks about what Glee means to her at the Oxygen website.

The Glee Project’s 14 contestants will be competing for a guest-starring role during the fourth season of Glee. Each week will feature different mentors from Glee including Darren Criss, Lea Michele and Kevin McHale. Last season’s winner Samuel Larsen and runner up Damian McGinty both had several episode-spanning arcs during the third Glee season, with McGinty’s contract recently being extended. Glee Project contestant Lindsay Pearce has also guest starred in two episodes and fellow contestant Alex Newell is rumored to guest star in the back half of the season. The show was recently nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in the Outstanding Reality Program category.  Look for The Glee Project season two to premiere this summer on Oxygen.