Perhaps it’s fitting that it’s an actor — someone whose trade is to pretend to be someone else — who rethinks and challenges what we assume makes a “real man.”
Scott Turner Schofield, the actor, storyteller, monologist and gender activist, is perhaps best known as the first transgender actor on daytime television for his breakthrough role on the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful.
“I guess you could call me a Renaissance Man,” Schofield says with a laugh. “But shouldn’t everyone be like that? When I was a woman, I knew some things — I knew I was gay — but you want to learn more, you know? I never stopped asking questions. That’s how you find answers.”
Schofield’s Becoming a Man in 127 EASY Steps is the true tale of what that evolution means, literally. The Showtime premium cable network is considering picking it up. His one-man shows and monologues continue to earn him international acclaim. (Two Truths and a Lie, a collection of three solo performances, was published in 2008.)
PHOTO COURTESY OF JPI STUDIOS
Scott Turner Schofield (center) with Bold and the Beautiful cast members, Karla Mosley and Jacob Young.
“It’s an exciting time,” Schofield says from his home in Atlanta, where he lives with his longtime girlfriend. “It feels like we’re at a tipping point culturally, where these magnificent stories are being told. Artists are so engaged with the transgendered world and the stories of transgendered people. I have 127 stories, 127 separate and unique tales of what becoming man is like. As an actor, I feel like I’m pushing a lot of boundaries, and not just in terms of content.”
A busy schedule keeps Schofield on the move, but he’s excited to visit Palm Springs, where he will be giving his celebrated TED Talk, Ending Gender, during the Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA) Conference. Viewed more than 60,000 times online, it’s a sweet and loving primer on transgendered issues and transgendered stories.
Schofield also will appear, along with actress Cindy Williams, at the LBGA Pride Concert Nov. 5 at Palm Springs High School’s newly renovated auditorium.
“I’m so excited because, like everyone, I’m a big fan of Laverne & Shirley,” Schofield says of meeting Williams. “And my mom pointed out that it was on that show that I heard that nothing was impossible for a woman. And it’s true, isn’t it?”
“Sex, gender, sexuality — all these terms have a lot of values associated with them, a lot of baggage,” Schofield says. “Transgendered people — unpack that baggage.
Scott Turner Schofield also will appear, along with actress Cindy Williams, at the LBGA Pride Concert Nov. 5 at Palm Springs High School’s newly renovated auditorium.
What is a man? What is a woman? Who am I, and what makes me happy? I describe myself as a female-to-male transsexual with a transgender queer identity — it’s specific, but only because every single one of us is specific. No one is a simple label.”
LGBA Conference Pride Concert, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at Palm Springs High School Auditorium, on Ramon Road just west of Farrell Drive, 760-469-9371; www.desertwindsfb.org