A star of Nickelodeon's 'Henry Danger' opens up about his transgender experience: 'I transitioned'

Charley Gallay/Getty ImagesMichael D. Cohen previously performed as a female in Canadian productions.
  • Michael D. Cohen, star of Nickelodeon’s longest-running live-action show “Henry Danger,” revealed in an interview with Time that he transitioned from female to male nearly 20 years ago.
  • Cohen doesn’t identify as transgender, saying that he has always felt that his “core being” was male, and so he prefers to use language that reflects that.
  • The actor hopes that his story will make others feel comfortable coming to terms with (and sharing) their own identities.
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Nickelodeon star Michael D. Cohen revealed in a new interview with Time magazine that he transitioned from female to male nearly 20 years ago.

“I was misgendered at birth,” Cohen told TIME. “I identify as male, and I am proud that I have had a transgender experience – a transgender journey.”

Cohen plays Schwoz on the superhero comedy “Henry Danger,” Nickelodeon’s longest-running live-action sitcom. The actor told Time that he only recently started sharing his experience of transitioning with his fellow cast members.

Michael cohen henry dangerViacomCohen’s character on ‘Henry Danger’ doesn’t take himself too seriously.

“Henry Danger” is Cohen’s first big project- he’s also had bit parts in shows like “2 Broke Girls” and “The Mindy Project.” But before he came to Hollywood, Cohen worked in his native Canada. He grew up in Winnipeg, and later went on to work as an actor in Toronto. For a while, Cohen played female roles, until he transitioned in 2000.

Read more: Celebrities like Julia Roberts and Ellen DeGeneres are posting silent videos to honour LGBTQ students who have been harassed and bullied

Cohen was motivated to share his story in part due to the increasing attacks being leveled at LGBTQ rights across the country.

“This crazy backlash and oppression of rights is happening right in front of me,” Cohen said. “I can’t stay silent.”

Although Cohen did undergo a transition, he shared with TIME that he doesn’t identify as transgender. He respects those who feel represented by the term (and said it would describe his experience at an earlier time in his life), but says that it’s not a word he’d use to describe himself currently.

Cohen feels his “core being” has always been male, and is planning on explaining more about his transgender experience and ideas about masculinity in an upcoming one-man stage show called “Four Cubits Make a Man” (a Leonardo da Vinci reference).

He hopes that by sharing his story, he’ll inspire others to come to terms with their own identities, whatever they may be.

“If I tell my truth,” Cohen said, “that gives other people permission to tell theirs, too.”

Cohen joins a growing group of celebrities who are open about their transitions, which includes Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox, and Jamie Clayton.

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