Michael D. Cohen is embracing who he really is.
The 43-year-old revealed he was "misgendered at birth."
“I identify as male, and I am proud that I have had a transgender experience — a transgender journey," he told Time magazine. “It is not random, it is not arbitrary, it is not chosen. It’s like trying to negotiate with gravity.”
Cohen clarified that even though he transitioned through medical procedures and therapy, he doesn't like labels. “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 explained.
The TV star is talking about his experience now because he wants to lead by example and hopefully help a child who is struggling with his or her gender identity.
“What it does is send a message to kids that whoever they are, however they identify, that’s celebrated and valued and OK,” Cohen said. “If I tell my truth, that gives other people permission to tell theirs too.”
"This crazy backlash and oppression of rights is happening right in front of me. I can’t stay silent. 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," he added.
Cohen also posted on social media and expressed his gratitude for those who have embraced him. He also thanked his Nickelodeon family and fans.
“I’m so grateful to be able to share my story,” he wrote. “I hope that by sharing this part of my life’s journey it will help people of trans experience of ALL ages feel seen and less alone. I’m right here with you.”