Transgender actor Scott Turner Schofield is the latest performer who is pushing the needle forward for LGBT visibility on mainstream television, reports the New York Daily News.
Schofield has joined the cast of The Bold and the Beautiful and will be making his TV debut on the long-running CBS soap opera May 8.
His character, Nick, will reportedly be a “transgender mentor” to Maya Avant, a fashion model played by actress Karla Mosley, who is currently at the center of a storyline revolving around her own gender identity.
“I’m 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 Daily News. “We met in the trans community together. I’m her friend that comes in and kind of help remind her that she is beautiful and whole and authentic exactly as she is.”
He added, “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, who has garnered rave reviews for his theater work and is a distinguished diversity speaker, was reportedly approached directly by CBS as one of the people on the network’s short list of trans actors who were considered to help add authenticity to the soap opera’s current transgender storyline.
Schofield says he’s looking forward to helping improve transgender representation in entertainment with the role, and believes the storyline will help break down barriers in new ways.
“I am an expert on this stuff and I do study it. 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,” he said. “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.”