Sammy Nickalls
April 29, 2015 10:51 am

It’s undeniable that in terms of transgender representation we have a long way to go, but we’re SO happy with the progress made over the past week. First, there was Bruce Jenner’s amazingly poignant interview with Diane Sawyer, which was raw, real, and made all of America quiet down for a second and think about the immensely difficult and brave journey a transgender person must endure to be treated equally.

Now, we’re rejoicing over Scott Turner Schofield, who is officially the first transgender actor to play a major role on daytime television. Turner, who was born with female anatomy but identifies as a man, announced his upcoming role on Facebook: “Very proud to announce a big career move. #BecauseIamTransgender I am #LivingMyDream.”

Schofield will be on CBS’s The Bold And The Beautiful next month, playing Nick, a “transgender mentor” to a fashion model, Maya Avant (played by Karla Mosley). It was revealed last month that Karla’s character is transgender — she was assigned male at birth.

“[My character is] Maya’s best friend and I come from her world when she first landed in Los Angeles before she became the huge success that she is,” Schofield told the New York Daily News. “We met in the trans community together. I’m her friend that comes in and kind of helps remind her that she is beautiful and whole and authentic exactly as she is. And as things start to happen and discrimination mounts, she can stand strong in who she is and how she made the right choices for herself. So in that sense, it feels like playing myself in a certain way.”

Schofield auditioned for the part alongside transgender actress Candis Cayne. This is Schofield’s major television debut, but he is known for totally rocking regional theater. He’s also a renowned diversity speaker and author.

“I am an expert on this stuff and I do study it,” he explained to the New York Daily News. “I’ve seen everything there is to see and I am telling you that it is unprecedented and it’s going in the right direction. It’s going in the direction that transgender people can be happy about. And not only transgender people, but everyone who knows and loves a transgender person.”

Congratulations, Scott, and thank you for being an empowering, inspiring advocate and leader! We certainly will be tuning in to CBS to watch Scott’s undoubtedly amazing debut on May 8. In the meantime, check out his insightful TED Talk on ending narrow gender standards:

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