Actor Brian Michaels has publically come out as trans
Actor Brian Michaels has spoken openly for the first time about being trans.
On 12 July, Michaels starred in American TV show Queen Sugar as the trans policeman Toine Wilkins.
Despite a career that began in 2011, this was their first time playing a trans character.
In an interview with GLAAD, he explains: ‘I had concerns disclosing my gender history, without establishing myself as a strong actor first, would exclude me from being considered for non-trans roles.
‘I began my career post-transition and am not “visibly trans”. So I had the privilege of choosing to disclose or not. I was able to go in for any role that fit my type.’
Michaels is happy to see the shift there has been in recent years in trans representation in TV and film. For this, he thanks the advocacy and work of the likes of Laverne Cox, Tiq Milan, Janet Mock, Jen Richards, and Jill Soloway.
‘It would only be a matter of time before the right role surfaced’
Previously, he’s played roles in Blue Bloods, Person of Interest, and The Detour. He has also played minor roles in Gossip Girl and Girls.
Michaels wanted to become comfortable within himself before taking on the role of a trans character.
On trans representation, he said: ‘It’s been really encouraging to see independently produced films and series like Angelica Ross & Jen Richards’ Her Story and Emmett Jack Lundberg’s Brothers, written and starring trans artists, have found platforms to reach audiences with authentic representations of trans people featuring a wide array of narratives.
‘These shows have created opportunities for better representation in mainstream media. I felt like it would only be a matter of time before the right role surfaced.’