Nickelodeon actor Michael D. Cohen has revealed that he's transgender.
The actor, who played audience favorite Schwoz on the network's longest-running live-action sitcom, "Henry Danger," told Time. "I was misgendered at birth. I identify as male, and I am proud that I have had a transgender experience — a transgender journey."
Michael actually played female roles in his native Toronto in the 90s, but he began transitioning in 2000. He said he decided to come forward with the story of his "journey" due to the political climate in the country.
"This crazy backlash and oppression of rights is happening right in front of me. I can't stay silent," he says. "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."
While he's known for his Nickelodeon gig, Michael has also been seen in the film "Suburbicon," and he has a main role in Wendy's current ad for its "Biggie Bag" (in the commercial, he's the guy who finally gets "everything he ever wanted"). In addition, he played opposite Vanessa Hudgens in Amazon's "Powerless" in 2017.
Michael will also the focal point in an upcoming one-man show called "4 Cubits Make a Man," a story of how he and his family came to terms with his gender identity.
"In my experience, I was born male. What my body said about it was irrelevant," the actor told Time. "No matter how hard I tried, it was not up for negotiation. Believe me, it would have been so convenient if I was actually a woman."
Although Michael is, indeed, "transgender," he doesn't exactly like the label.
"I have worked so hard to get to the truth and I've taken on labels in the past that didn't feel true for the sake of convenience at that moment," he said, adding that he's a male at his "core being."
"My chromosomes do not dictate my gender," he said. "I'm a man."
Despite his reluctance to take on the label, he definitely sees himself as a part of the LGBTQ community
"These are my people," he said. "I belong to this group."
In the Time piece, Michael's "Henry Danger" costars, most of whom knew his secret, continued to support him. Still, he sees his reveal as a way to inspire others like him.
"If I tell my truth," he says, "that gives other people permission to tell theirs too."