Eric Scott Turner is a retired American football cornerback and a Texas state representative for the 33rd District which includes all of Rockwall County. He is a Republican. As a football player, Turner played defensive back in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins, San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos between 1995 and 2004. Turner played college football at the University of Illinois, and graduated from Illinois with a degree in speech communications. Turner ran for the vacated office of California's 50th congressional district in the 2006 special election. The congressional seat was previously held by Duke Cunningham. Running as a Republican in the election on April 11, 2006, Turner received 1.43% of the vote, ranking eighth among the Republican candidates in that contest. Turner is challenging Joe Straus for role of Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. It will be the first recorded Speaker vote since 1976.
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Hi everybody, I'm Scott Turner Schofield, and I went to college to learn how to be an actor. Because I am transgender, I was held back from learning how to act in a lot of roles, because they were traditional men & women's roles, so a mentor said "Don't wait for anyone to give you a role, just write your own." So I ended up writing 3 one-man shows about being transgender that have toured around the world for more than a decade.
The Bold & The Beautiful decided they wanted to take on the transgender story, a transgender theme, and they did something that most producers have never done - they invited a transgender actor to play a transgender role. They went to GLAAD to find out what transgender actors were out there, and my name was on a list, and I auditioned with a group of other transgender actors, and was invited to join the cast - all because I am transgender, not despite. That's what's so exciting about this moment for me. That I get to be all I am, instead of having to hide a part of myself.
My one-man show "Becoming A Man In 127 EASY Steps" will be at the Founders MCC Theater in Los Angeles on May 29 & 30th - link. And my fiancé and I just released a web series, called "Ze Said She Said" out now.
I'm very excited to play the character of Nick on the show. I encourage people to watch full episodes of the show on CBS.com - I won't be discussing any spoilers about The Bold & The Beautiful, but I'm happy to answer the rest of your questions.
Victoria's assisting me today. AMA.
Edit: I'm just so impressed by the caliber of the questions here, so I just want to thank everybody for being so thoughtful, and having a real conversation with me. This has been a great experience for me, so thank you. I'm on pretty much all of the social networks, so please do follow me, and if you have further questions, I'm always excited to talk about this stuff, so do reach out. And please watch & share my video with Jessica - we hope that's going to do some world changing itself!
First, congratulations. This is a huge mark and something very cool!
Second, are you happy that your most prominent role yet features a trans storyline as a central point? Or would you have preferred to be the first trans actor to have a prominent, "traditional" male role with no mention of your status as a trans person?
Wow, that is a great question.
It's definitely a dream of mine to be a transgender person playing a cisgender role. But this incredible historical moment to be able to play a role that is being so deftly crafted, so correctly presented, is something that I never would have dreamed for myself, but that I am so, SO very proud & excited to play.
And I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. I think I can actually play both.
Hi Scott. As a transgender man myself this is an amazing thing to see. I see absolutely no representation and for most of my life, did not know it was possible to be FTM. I knew MTF women existed because they had a slightly larger media profile (only slightly though).
You have no many how many confused young trans boys will see you and feel lile their feelings exist and are valid in this world. I know I would have been different had it been that way for me.
I want to become an actor myself and just got accepted into a drama course in Trinity College Dublin. Did your interest in acting form due to your being trans, because for me, it did. When I was younger I would always attach to playing male characters and I'd feel such great joy from that. However acting got me into Shakespeare, a huge passion of mine, and now I can't get enough!
Also- I know you've done some work with TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland), namely a dude named Ben. Do you remember him? He's a friend of mine. It's awesome that you've connected with my little country- what drew you to here?
Thanks for doing this AMA! Big fan.
Oh, I love it!
Well, please give Ben a big hug for me. And also, stop by QSOC, and have a cup of tea in my honor.
To your question, I'm excited about this role because i think about what my life would've been like had I seen someone who I knew to be an FTM, like we are. If I had had that possibility for myself, who would I have been able to be at a much younger age? So I truly hope that this storyline for Nick is reaching all of those that need to see themselves reflected back at them, and I hope there will be many more roles for FTMs in the future.
And my life experience shaped my acting because i had to create my own roles - because I was transgender. it's funny, now when I go to my role as Nick or when I audition for other roles in TV, I'm finding all the work I did in class is just waiting there to be picked up to play another role! So in that regard, I'm just an artist, and that's just what's coming to me to play these other roles.
How involved were you in the development of your character?
I'm happy to say that i wasn't involved at all! I didn't have to do anything. I didn't have to teach ANYBODY. They did what really good allies do - they learned it for themselves, they ran it through GLAAD to make sure they are speaking the truth correctly, and here we are!
How long have you been on TB&TB? Was it just a one-off story or are they keeping you around?
I hope they're going to keep me around! I am considered a recurring role. So we'll see. I was talking with Alley Mills, she told me she was called in for a 4 episode arc, and she's been there for 8 years. So my arc - there's so many things to the reality of a transgendered person. And given how amazingly well the writers and Bradley have done this story so far, hopefully they will want to continue.
When did you first realize you were trans?
Okay, that's a wonderful question.
So it depends on if you mean when did I realize I was transgender as our society labels it, or when did I know that who I authentically am was different than what other people saw.
So I knew that what I authentically was was different than what people saw at a very young age - I was 3 years old. And that is something I carried with me for my whole life, and tried to figure out, until age 20, when I met a person who identified themselves as a transgender man. And that was the very first time that i knew that someone could be a transgender man, or that a person could change their lives, change their bodies, change the world to see THEM as they truly are.
It was a very long time of having no idea what I was. As problematic as labels can be, they do give us something to hold onto, so we can move forward.
Thanks for your work! Can you tell us a little bit about your trans identity development process? Also, could you share your thoughts on the ways in which trans identity contributes to and defies the gender binary system?
GREAT QUESTION! In my TED talk, which you can find by searching for "Ending Gender," in it, I talked about the ways in which I as a transgender person personally view the world. Because I'm a man who was a woman. I'm a lesbian who became a straight man, but I still identify as queer. Essentially, I see the world through very different eyes, especially when I'm in groups of men. So I know from lived experience that gender is what you make it, and if we can make it, then we can unmake it.
I think the most interesting thing about my trans development is now, when I am a decade into being a transgender person, identifying as transgender, they say it takes 10 years for your world to settle back down after you come out, and I'm at that place now. And now, I'm able to just really see who I am, my transgender identity is understood, and I've really worked on it, and now i'm just seeing who Scott is. And for instance, as an artist, I love paint. I love paint everywhere, even on my fingernails, which some people might call "nail polish." But it's just paint. And it's incredible to watch people freak out - people who consider themselves to be really liberal, really open, really cool people - they lose their minds when they see my fingernails are painted.
So now my transgender identity development is seeing who do I want to be, and how much do I want to deal with other people and their gender problems, now that I have a handle on my own!
Good evening! I first off wanted to say how awesome it is of you to do an AMA.
I'm a young transguy from Austria and even though I'm an aspiring IT-student, acting has always played a great part in my life. I come from a family of actors and singers and had my first "bigger" role as Radcliff in a musical production of Pocahontas at the age of 13. Now I'm looking into continuing my passion and I'm keeping my hopes up that I might get another chance to perform in front of a bigger crowd.
My question for you is: How do you deal with your fellow thespians. Do they treat you any differently, and if so, how? And what advice do you have for a young transgender amateur actor in terms of finding a grip in the world of acting?
These are all such good questions!
I think the more that we put ourselves out there as actors, the more we audition and show up for roles, that we can act - whatever those roles are. Getting directors and casting people who use their vision on the world to construct what people see - showing up and saying actually, I can do this - I think that's how we start changing what's possible for all of us.
My experience is that people do want to help. People - when they find out what's going on - want to be a part of something good.
So getting out there, really auditioning, meeting people, and doing the role the best you can because you're an actor not because you're transgender but because you're an actor & artist first- that's the goal.
Of course people will have their prejudices, but you just show up and do your best. And like my mentor told me- don't wait around for people to write roles for you. Every transgender person has an incredible story that can inspire people to transform their lives and live more authentically. So get out there and share yours!
Congrats! I want to thank you for coming to my school last semester, it was great having you.
So question: What further roles do you aspire to? Do you want to stay on TV shows and other smaller-scale projects or do you want to make it to big screen movies one day?
Yes and yes! Hahaha!
In your opinion, is Wu Tang Clan something to fuck with?
I don't mess with anybody.
You are simply a true inspiration to transgender people. How do you feel to now have such a big platform to tell your story?
Thank you! First of all!
You know, I am just so excited to have a platform at all. It has been a long time coming for transgender people to play transgender roles - or to play roles at all.
And the way this is being done- the way the story is being so honoring of transgender lives, and really digging into the depths of our stories, and our many truths - on a show that reaches 30 million people every day around the world - I simply couldn't be happier, whether it was me or somebody else. I just couldn't be happier that this is happening.
It's not actually my story. This is the story of a different character who shares some traits with me. And I'm just so grateful that my particular skillset of having been a professional actor for over a decade could be in service of this great story.
What have you seen that no one will believe you saw?
Welcome to my life before I was 20 years old! I looked in the mirror and saw a man, and nobody would ever believe me. And I'm so glad they do now.
Do you feel that transmen are being left out of the trans movement?
That's an interesting question.
I'm not sure that anybody is being left out of the trans movement, because the trans movement is about inclusion? I feel, however, that we still have some work to do to not dismiss, because as transmen we come to being men from a different perspective. We are not men who have experienced male privilege throughout our entire lives, even if we may experience it once we transition. We have a deeper respect & empathy for women and people who experience sexism, and i do feel right now that the common line on transmen is that we transition and become chauvinists, when in fact, I have a lot of lived experience that this is not true.
So every movement has to work out its issues. And the transgender movement is no different. And I hope to see the transgender movement become increasingly more inclusive of every BODY and every experience moving forward.
Do you feel that your role is a respectful one? In that, do you feel that it's a story the writers felt naturally needed a transperson, or does it feel gimmicky to you?
I do think it's incredibly respectful. I think that the process they undertook to create the role of Nick was a respectful one, and my experience of every script I receive is respectful - to the extent that Bradley Bell, who's the executive producer, told me if anything feels untrue or felt disrespectful, I only need tell someone, and they will fix it right away.
Which - I'm telling you - actors don't get that much power over a script, ever. And I've been given that key. So that level of respect is deep.
I also think it was a move of respect to the transgender community itself to hire a transgender actor to play a transgender role. When they hired Karla Moseley, they didn't know they were going to do this transgender thing. They didn't know they were going to ask her to play transgender, and be yet another cisgender actor playing a transgender role. And so, you know, that they said "If we're going to really explore this transgender theme, we need a transgender actor" was a part of great respect.
From our perspective as transgender people, we've been waiting forever, and this may not seem like much.
But from the perspective of someone inside Hollywood and the business, this is huge, and a big, bold and Beautiful move.
Do you listen to bands with transgender singers like Against Me! or King Kobra?
I do. I love Against Me! I was able to see them at World Pride in Toronto, and to watch probably 5,000 going nuts to music with this incredible transgender perspective just blew me away. I'm also a really big fan of the The Cliks.
I did not know you existed until I was in /r/ftm a few minutes ago, but I am so glad to have stumbled across that post which brought me here! I am a trans guy myself, pre-transition, and you are so awesome! It is an AMA, so I will ask a question. What are some of the best moments you have had when auditioning? And what were some of the worst moments? It doesn't have to be trans-related.
Sure! Well, nice to meet you.
Let's see. I mean, still the best moment I've ever had auditioning was when I auditioned for The Bold & The Beautiful, for Krispy Dooley, and I did my scene, and she immediately said "Are you available to come back for the producers' session on Monday?" (it was Friday)
I'd never been called back in the room like that. It was really exciting.
And the WORST moment was the worst thing - in the producers' session - I had to go home and wait for a weekend and psych myself out - it was SO horrible! And I went to the audition, and I was - you know - doing the scene - I had the 2 producers, Krispy, and a camera, and mind you - I've performed for 1200 people live, okay? I'm not shy, I'm not nervous. But with these 4 people in the room, i began shaking so badly - my paper was shaking, my legs were shaking, I could barely talk.
And this is the BIG moment, you know?
And I left, and I was sure I had blown it. I was totally sure, I went home, got into bed, didn't get out of bed for 24 hours, i was just sick and so upset with myself.
And the next day - Krispy called me and offered me the role!
Can you tell us a little more about your webseries "Ze Said, She Said" and how does it feel working so closely on a project with your fiancé? Congrats on getting engaged!
We joke and call this "our first baby."
One of the reasons that I want to marry Jessica is because i respect her so much as an artist.
She is a brilliant comedian, and excellent writer, and so much fun to act with.
So our process was a TON of fun, and I can't wait to make more episodes.
So in real life, I am a queer transgender yogi. And Jessica is a traditional heterosexual Christian. And whenever people learn about our individual identities, their response is "WTF?!?"
How did this happen?
And it's a series about love, and a very quirky odd couple building bridges between worlds that people in general right now don't see as possible to ever be together.
And it's just very very funny. We poke fun at ALL of the stereotypes at both sides.
Do you feel that your race played a big role in public acceptance as a transgender male?
You know, I take Laverne Cox's lead. I think Laverne is a transcendent leader of the trans movement, I think she's a wonderful actress, I look to her as a role model. And I strive to 1/10th of her grade and poise, and to do 1/10th of what she's doing as an activist. And I know there are people who might listen to me, because I'm white. So the best I can do is hold Laverne in my heart, and ask myself at every moment, "What would Laverne do?"
And also, I really have to hold Sylvia Rivera, I have to hold Miss Major, I have to hold Marsha P Johnson in my heart- these incredible leaders of the trans movement, and know that what I'm putting into the world is the very best that I can do in honor of their voices, and their sacrifices. And as long as I know that I'm doing that - so that people who might have racial prejudices don't know that they're getting a dose of all of these incredible leaders of color - but I know it.
Hello! Another trans person here! Thank you for doing this AMA!
How do you feel about Hollywood's reception of queer identified actors? For the gay community, it's been known for a long time that many gay & lesbian entertainers have stayed in the closet for fear of damaging their careers. As trans people, often times we don't really have a choice to NOT be out, and it looks like Hollywood is slowly coming around to being okay with out and proud actors. For an industry that is as backwards as it is forwards, how do you see these old fashioned views changing for the better?
There's just something different about this moment in history I wish I could articulate.
With trans acceptance in Hollywood, it's beyond gay pride. This is something that, from my perspective, what I'm seeing is non-transgender people - cisgender people - taking as their responsibility to create space and be respectful of transgender people.
Something has flipped. I don't know what it is. But it really looks that way, from where I am.
I'm just really glad we don't have to go through the really horrible experiences that many of our gay, lesbian and bisexual community members have had to. And I know there are actors who are stealth (meaning not openly trans) because they don't feel comfortable, or don't want to be out, and that's fine. I'm just glad there seems to be a rising current of real acceptance, and respect.
Can you tell us about about your one man show "Becoming A Man"? Will you take it around the country or just staying in LA?
I have been doing this show around the country & around the world since 2007.
And hopefully, there will be interest in more performances around the country. You can sign up on my mailing list to find out, or follow me on social media, and I will definitely let you know!