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Soap Opera Star Daniel Sobieray Discusses Gender From the Viewpoint of a Heterosexual Midwestern Guy

12/03/2013 09:00 am ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

I met Daniel Sobieray almost a year ago through the casting of the LGBT feature film Heart of a Woman, based on my memoir I Rise. Daniel was auditioning for producer/screenwriter Alton Demore, British director Keith Holland and casting director Dea Vise for the lead male role of Derrick, a male escort for pay who is trying to achieve success as an actor in Hollywood. Daniel was selected for the role of Derrick because of his openness to be enlightened and educated about people different from himself. The cast of Heart of a Woman also includes transgender actress Angelica Ross, Rachel Sterling, Elisabeth Rohm and Leslie Jones.

Daniel was an all-American high school hockey athlete from Colorado and received a hockey scholarship at the University of Michigan, graduating with degree in finance. Daniel is a former Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss model who worked the runways in Europe from 2006 to 2009. In 2010, Daniel appeared on the soap All My Children, and he is currently on the soap Days of Our Lives.

I have been speaking to groups for the past four years about being an African-American transgender woman and what it means to have been born male and to have transitioned to the female gender. I have found that the perceptions of mainstream America stem from fear and the lack of knowledge about transgender people. Daniel shares his viewpoint as a heterosexual male athlete from the Midwest who had no knowledge of transgender people in his high school, his community or his church. His background is typical of most Americans who have no direct knowledge or interaction with transgender persons.

The T in the LGBT family is the smallest group of them all. Since the population of transgender people is low, we are rarely visible in day-to-day life, so many Americans form their perceptions out of fear and a lack of knowledge, I understand the rationale behind the fear but do not understand hatred and discrimination and violence against another human being of any kind. Transgender people across the world only seek fairness, justice and equal rights, like any other human being on the planet.

Daniel said that all human beings should be judged on character, not race, sex or gender. He stated that his parents taught him at an early age that everybody is equal and the same and should only be judged by how they treat others, not by physical characteristics. He stated that kids who are transgender should have right to use the bathroom without humiliation and have the right to play sports, if they are athletically qualified, on the teams that match their gender identity. The acceptance of all human beings regardless of race, sex and gender must begin in the home. Hatred, discrimination and violence against any transgender person has no place in an equal society of fair-minded people.

Listen to my chat with Daniel Sobieray:

I challenge every American to give every transgender boy or girl, woman or man, a chance at fairness. Transgender people are not seeking special consideration, just equal rights, so that they can be their authentic self. I don't ask you to agree with my choice of transitioning; that was my personal journey, and it's between me and God. I just ask for fair opportunity to be who I am without violence and discrimination.

For more information on Daniel Sobieray and his career, visit his IMDb page.

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