Chris Colfer, who plays gay student Kurt Hummel on the Fox musical-comedy Glee, says fans react to Kurt's vulnerability.

Glee, which returns for a special episode following the Super Bowl on Sunday, is considered the most gay-inclusive show currently on television. Besides Colfer's character, Darren Criss plays out-and-proud student Blaine Anderson and Max Adler plays a closeted football player.

Colfer's Kurt came first, however. And the character's struggle to gain acceptance at McKinley High has made him a hero to gay teens around the world.

In an interview with Australia paper The Daily Telegraph, Colfer says fans love Kurt because they can relate to him.

“I grew up in a very conservative, religious town, so I was very scared when I found out the role that I was going to be playing in front of millions and millions of people would be gay, which is something that is very frowned upon where I'm from,” Colfer said.

“I just wanted to have the character have as much truth and honesty as possible. … That's what people have responded to – how real and how vulnerable he is. I think everyone – gay, straight or whatever – can relate to the vulnerability.”