The performer and activist will be the first transgender actor to appear on daytime television
Transgender actor Scott Turner Schofield is about to make television history.
The acclaimed diversity educator, who was born a woman and identifies as a man, is officially joining the cast of the CBS daytime soap The Bold and the Beautiful on May 8, PEOPLE has learned.
The role will mark both Schofield’s television debut, and the first time a transgender actor will play major, recurring role on a daytime program.
The actor celebrated the milestone on Facebook Tuesday, posting, “Very proud to announce a big career move.”
Schofield will play a character named Nick who is a “transgender mentor” to fashion model Maya Avant, played by Karla Mosley. On the show, Avant’s storyline involves issues of gender identity.
“I’m Maya’s best friend, and I come from her world when she first landed in Los Angeles before she became the huge success that she is,” the actor explained to The New York Daily News. “We met in the trans community together. I’m her friend that comes in and kind of help remind her that she is beautiful and whole and authentic exactly as she is.
“And, as things start to happen and discrimination mounts, she can stand strong in who she is and how she made the right choices for herself. So in that sense, it feels like playing myself in a certain way.”
Schofield was considered for the part alongside transgender actress Candis Cayne, the website reports.
As an active spokesperson, speaker, and author for the transgender community, Schofield said of the soap, “I am an expert on this stuff, and I do study it. I’ve seen everything there is to see and I am telling you that it is unprecedented and it’s going in the right direction.
“It’s going in the direction that transgender people can be happy about. And not only transgender people, but everyone who knows and loves a transgender person.”
After Bruce Jenner‘s interview with Diane Sawyer, Schofield encouraged fans to watch his TED Talk on gender identity for more information via Facebook, posting, “Anyone still confused about #Transgender after #BruceJennerInterview? If so I hope this helps: buff.ly/1Or0f2n.”