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Nickelodeon actor Michael D. Cohen reveals he transitioned

Updated 8:02 AM ET, Sat May 25, 2019

(CNN) - "Henry Danger" star Michael D. Cohen has gone public with the fact he transitioned from being a woman to a man nearly 20 years ago.

The actor, 43, who has portrayed Schwoz on the Nickelodeon series since 2014, talked to Time magazine about his journey.

"I was misgendered at birth," he said. "I identify as male, and I am proud that I have had a transgender experience -- a transgender journey."

According to the publication, Cohen "does not use the word transgender to describe himself, but he does view himself as part of a community that typically embraces that label, and he didn't feel he could be an outspoken advocate until he made his history known."

He said the current political landscape that has seen the rollback of protections for trans people helped inspire him to go public with his story

"This crazy backlash and oppression of rights is happening right in front of me. I can't stay silent," Cohen said. "The level of -- let's be polite -- misunderstanding around trans issues is so profound and so destructive. When you disempower one population, you disempower everybody."

It was April 2000 and just before his acting career that Cohen said he decided to transition.

He told People magazine he had an "epiphany."

"I said, 'I need to know, it's now or never,' " Cohen said. "It all came together and from that day on, I was living as a man."

Jace Norman, who plays the protagonist on Cohen's series, told Time the actor's revelation "didn't change anything about the high level of respect and admiration I have for the guy."

"It's in the best interest of the entire world to have every type of person represented on TV," Norman said.

Cohen agrees.

"If I tell my truth, that gives other people permission to tell theirs too," he said.


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