When Freetown native Colton McGrath makes his debut on American Idol March 11, he will be introducing his singing and songwriting to the world, but that’s not the whole story. McGrath, a transgender high school student at B.M.C. Durfee, will be bringing a message of diversity to the viewers.

The ABC show’s producers don't allow contestants to talk about appearing on the show. However, he was judged by Luke Bryan, Katie Perry, and Lionel Richie. So no need to worry about spoilers.

McGrath, who was known as Cassidy McGrath before last summer, can talk about the process that took him from Boston to Chicago to New York before being chosen for the show. He wrote about the journey on his Facebook page.

In New York, he waited until 3:30 a.m. after arriving at 6 a.m. the day before performing in the judges’ rounds. There, he was one of the last 10 people out of 700 to audition.

That’s also where he shared his message with the producers.

“I’m here for diversity,” McGrath told the Fall River Herald News. “I want to show that people who feel they’re stuck whether it be through transition or any LGBT-related issue. Even if you feel stuck, there’s hope. There’s something out there for everyone.”

McGrath said his research shows there haven’t many—even perhaps any—transgender contestants that have been on the show

If you want to follow him, visit Colton McGrath Music on Facebook or check out his website at ColtonMcGrathMusic.com. He has a new original song, “Empty Skies,” on Apple Music and iTunes.

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