For Colfer, his character on Glee is more reality than fiction. He was out during his real high school years; and, according to an Access Hollywood interview, had accepting parents. Colfer is also open about being bullied while in school—an issue often talked about on Glee.
It may come as a surprise that the role of Kurt Hammel was created for Colfer. He originally auditioned for Artie (Kevin McHale), but the producers were so impressed with Colfer's performance that they wrote in the part of Kurt.
According to Colfer's bio on the Glee website, he was "very active during high school" and grew up performing in community and regional theatre. At age 14, he assistant-directed a theatrical benefit for Valley Children's Hospital. He was also president of the writer's club, editor of the school literary magazine and a speech and debate champion.
Colfer lives in Los Angeles.