(CBS Local)-- A few years ago, Leo Sheng was studying at the University of Michigan to get a master's degree in social work. Today, the transgender actor is one of the stars of the "The L Word: Generation Q" where he plays Micah Lee. Season two of the hit series returns to Showtime on Sunday, August 8 at 10pm EST/PST.
CBS Local's DJ Sixsmith recently talked with Sheng about what fans can expect from the new season of the series, the importance of representing everyone in the LGBTQ+ community and how he went from studying social work at the University of Michigan to being the star of a hit TV show in Hollywood.
"One of the things I love so much is that we really get to explore queerness and all of its many facets," said Sheng. "With that in mind, I'm very excited for Micah's journey and experiencing more outside of the journey he has already been on. He explores a new path and finds out more about himself. As we move forward in progress for trans representation, and especially transmasculine representation, for me it's huge to tell a story of a trans man of color and explore his experiences."
Sheng loves how his character Micah deeply values his race, but is portrayed as a whole person with multiple layers. He says it has been an honor to tell the story of an East Asian trans man.
"There is no single trans experience," said Sheng. "I think that is what we are understanding in talking about it in a more mainstream way. We have these stories on-screen and they are really individual stories. I think there is a lot of pressure that can go on anyone who is involved with that story. It's an individual journey."
"The first trans person I saw on TV was Max in the original L Word," said Sheng. "There's more stories than previous generations and they're still very limited. They're still predominately white and trans masculine. It's incredible and it is such an honor and a gift and I've received so many messages. That's one of the most rewarding pieces of this because it is really making people think."
Watch "The L Word: Generation Q" on Showtime and stream season one of the series right now on the Showtime app.
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