Alex Newell, who is known for playing Unique, a transgender student on Glee, stars in a new film about a group of high school students struggling with being gay so they create a secret support group with a non-threatening name: Geography Club.
“It’s a poignant message everyone can relate to,” Alex tells RumorFix in an exclusive interview. The 21-year-old plays a boy, who tests the waters of being gay and rates his level of gayness in percentages.
The movie also deals with bullying, which Alex — who is openly gay — says he’s familiar with. “I get bullied now and I’m a person on TV!” he says. “When people don’t understand things — their initial reaction is ‘I hate that.'”
Alex, who went to a Catholic school, says he found tremendous acceptance there, “I grew up in an environment where it was OK to be yourself.” It wasn’t until he was on TV wearing a dress that he started feeling the bullying by people online. “You can’t read into Twitter because a majority of it is people sitting behind a commuter typing away.”
Don’t let that sweet smile fool you, the actor says, “I don’t have anyone saying things to my face — they know I can be a bitch.”
But, not all young gays and lesbians are that fierce — and that’s why Geography Club is important, he says. “I want everyone to see this movie — it’s a great story. It means so much to so many people — high school, college, parents, grandparents — it sends a perfect message,” he adds.
Executive producer Frederick Levy tells RumorFix, “Geography Club is important because kids and teens need to know that it’s OK to feel different. Everyone feels like an outsider in high school no matter what social circle you fall into. Geography Club is about a group of kids who realize it’s OK to stand up for who you are and what you believe.”
The film, which also stars Ana Gasteyer, Scott Bakula, Nikki Blonsky, Cameron Deane Stewart, Meaghan Martin and Justin Deeley, opens in LA on Friday and is available from iTunes Movies and Amazon Instant Video.