He has a voice different from perhaps anything we’ve heard onThe Glee Project before, and a powerful story to go along with it. Described byEntertainment Weekly as “very independent in his lifestyle and ambitions,” 21-year-old Tyler is The Glee Project’s first-ever transgender contestant.
When he graduated high school in 2009, Tyler was still known as Brittany — but the Florida-based performer says he just didn’t feel like he was truly himself.
"I knew at a very small age I was a guy but I didn't have the words to express it," Tyler tells his hometown paper,The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "Then in middle school and high school, there was pressure to conform, to be 'girlie.'"
Yet after he began attending college at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tyler says he started reading blogs about other transgenders and immediately thought, “Oh, that's me.” He began his transition in June 2011 with hormone shots.
So why choose the name Tyler? The college student tells the Sun-Sentinel he picked his new moniker in honor of Aerosmith rocker Steven Tyler.
Tyler credits Lady Gaga as his musical inspiration. He loves to play the ukulele, and — as half black, half white, and Jewish — he seems almost as diverse as a person could possibly be. Sounds to us like this guy’s got a pretty good chance of making it far in the competition. We can’t wait to see even more!