I think it's nice, but I don't have the same sense of it being so unusual. I'm RM's age. I remember hearing about gay and lesbian pop singers and other entertainers when I was a teenager. They were in the public consciousness. I'm still a little amazed that an American network show has so many queer characters, regular and recurring. I count characters and marvel. "On My Way" had eight queer characters. Rachel's dads, Kurt, Blaine, Brittany and Santana were all in one scene -- six. Kurt, Blaine, Brittany, Santana and Sebastian were in another scene -- five. Dave Karofsky was in a scene with Sebastian and a scene with Kurt. Hiram and Leroy Berry, Kurt, Blaine, Sebastian and Karofsky -- six gay male characters in one mainstream show.
Thanks mainly to AE, I'm aware of which of the actors Glee employs are gay and lesbian. A couple of "Saturday Night Glee-ver" scenes had Kurt, Jesse St. James and Wade "Unique" Adams, all characters played by out actors. Once again I marveled. There have been three out actors in an episode numerous times and now there have been four a couple of times. That's what I thought I'd never see. Between characters and actors there's such amazing visibility for GLBT teens to see. I don't know how much of that generation realizes how historical it is, but the older generations do.
I'm sure there have been shows that had African-American trans* characters appear as crime statistics. I wonder if there had ever been any that had a teenaged African-American trans* character being a successful performer. It must be something for some teens to see themselves represented.
I remain amused at what I heard about a couple of the contestants on the first season of the Glee Project being surprised they were supposed to act out a same-sex attraction in a song. Hopefully the second season contestants will be aware that they might need to do that. After all, on Glee, the chances of your character turning out to be gay are relatively high. Perhaps Verbotene Liebe approaches it, but over a period of more than a decade, not over three years. Ulli, Tom, Olli, Christian (the second character by that name), Carla, Hannah, Stella, another couple of lesbian characters around in Tom and Ulli's time, and whoever Olli was dating when he and Christian were split up (still haven't watched those episodes) make for pretty good representation, but that's a German soap opera. Okay, Verbotene Liebe has had a good number of gay, lesbian and bisexual characters.