Nickelodeon actor Michael D. Cohen just dropped a bombshell about his life.
Speaking to PEOPLE, the star revealed he was born a female, but transitioned to male 20 years ago when he realized he was assigned the wrong gender at birth.
The change helped him align his gender with his “core being and essence.”
Cohen, 43, said he transitioned on April 26, 2000 right before his Hollywood career took off. He has now been on Henry Danger since 2014.
“It was an epiphany for me,” Cohen said of his transition. “I said, ‘I need to know, it’s now or never.’ It all came together and from that day on, I was living as a man.”
The actor said there was a never a moment when he questioned whether or not he was meant to be male or female, as he always felt like a man.
“Who I am is male, that’s a non-negotiable part of me,” Cohen said. “I’m born with this… It’s not something that got evolved from the outside. It would’ve been much more convenient if I were female… But this is who I am.”
As a child growing up in Canada, he knew he wanted to be an actor, but he felt “suppressed” by his upbringing, by his gender, and by society.
“The suppression lasted a long time and eventually I did understand who I was, but it took a little while especially at that time, there weren’t the resources we had today,” he said.
While transitioning made him surer of himself, he still was not certain whether the change would negatively affect his career.
“I was always scared that I wouldn’t be able to realize my dreams because of it,” he said. “I was terrified of that for so long — even as an adult when I transitioned 20 years ago. I was like, ‘I know this is my path, I know I’m an actor. How am I going to be able to do what I want to do and have the career I want and transition? How is that going to be okay?'”
Still, Cohen said, “I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and having faith that it’s all gonna work out.”