By Jase Peeples
Originally published on Advocate.com July 07 2013 5:02 PM ET
Chaz Bono landed his first male role, playing the President of the United States inThirty Minute Musicals: Independence Day, reports People. The role, which is an imitation of the character played by Bill Pullman in the 1996 film Independence Day, is a dream come true for the iconic trans actor who credits playing a male role in high school with opening his eyes to his own gender identity.
“I started acting in high school. It was the career that I wanted but I stopped because I couldn't really do a good job playing female characters and I didn't know why," Bono told People. “My senior year of high school I got cast as a male character and for the first time I really excelled. But I told myself, ‘This will never happen as a professional so I need to find another career.’”
Doubts over the possibility that he would be accepted for his true gender identity caused Bono to shy away from the spotlight until he appeared as a contestant on Dancing With The Stars in 2011. The positive feedback he received while on the show encouraged Bono to return to his first passion, acting. He began taking acting classes to refine his skills and soon he was offered guest star roles on Degrassi: The Next Generation as well as The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
“It felt so good to be acting again,” said Bono “A lot of times there is an assumption that someone like me doesn't have skill or talent. That is the battle that I feel I am up against. But I am doing the work to counteract that."
Bono says he’s thankful for the opportunity his latest role provides and is feeling more confident in his abilities than ever before. “I've decided that hopefully it is never too late to do what you want to do.”