Kurt Elizabeth Hummel is a fictional character and one of the male leads in the Fox musical comedy-drama series Glee. Series creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan initially conceived of him as a fashionable gay countertenor who is routinely bullied at school. Kurt is portrayed by actor Chris Colfer, and has appeared as a character on the show since its pilot episode, first broadcast on May 19, 2009. Glee follows the trials of the New Directions glee club at the fictional William McKinley High School in the town of Lima, Ohio, of which Kurt is a member. His storylines in the first season focus on his struggle with his sexual identity as he discloses his homosexuality to his father and friends, and deals with his romantic feelings for Finn Hudson, the heterosexual co-captain of the glee club.
In the show's second season, Kurt is forced to transfer to a private school for his own safety after a closeted classmate bullies him relentlessly and then threatens to kill him. Kurt joins the Dalton Academy Warblers, the school's glee club, which is a competition rival of New Directions, and is befriended by their openly gay lead singer Blaine Anderson. Later on, the two become romantically involved. Their relationship has been well received by critics, and they have been named "one of the most beloved TV couples of the millennium" by Jarett Wieselman of the New York Post. Kurt eventually transfers back to McKinley and rejoins New Directions, but continues his relationship with Blaine, who transfers to McKinley in the third season. In the fourth season, Kurt moves to New York City with his best friend and rival Rachel Berry, where he pursues his musical education while interning for Vogue.com. For the remainder of the series, Glee charts Kurt's life in Lima and New York as he grapples with young adulthood and realizing his career ambitions.
Colfer describes Kurt as projecting a very confident "I'm better than you" personality, despite being a typically scared and anxious teenager. Kurt's solos for New Directions tend to be songs—usually show tunes—traditionally performed by women, which best suit his countertenor voice. His occasionally complex—but always loving—relationship with his father has been a focus for the show. Colfer's portrayal of Kurt has received much critical praise, and he has been the recipient of several awards, including Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards. He has also garnered many award nominations, which include the 2010 and 2011 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. In April 2011, Colfer was named one of the 2011 Time 100, Time's list of the 100 most influential people.