Caitlyn Jenner might be the fresh new face of the transgender movement, but her mentor Candis Cayne has been making a name for herself long before the former Olympian stepped on the scene.
The transgender actress and former drag queen transitioned from male to female (she was born Brendan McDaniel) in the mid-‘90s, and has long been a boundary-breaking star.
Here are five things to know about her:
1. She’s Been in the Business for Decades
After moving to New York City in the ‘90s, Cayne became a seasoned drag performer and choreographer. She performed under the stage name “Candis Cayne” before she officially transitioned. She was known for her performances in historic drag events such as Wigstock, a drag festival in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood, and costarred in RuPaul’s “A Little Bit of Love” music video.
2. She’s Attracted to Men
Contrary to rumors that she is dating her pal Caitlyn Jenner, Cayne is attracted to men. Us Weekly previously confirmed that there is nothing going on between the two.
3. She’s Starring in I Am Cait
As a fellow transgender activist, Cayne will be appearing on Jenner’s new docuseries, I Am Cait, Us has previously reported. She has been spotted filming with Jenner in NYC and L.A.
4. She Made TV History
In 2007, Cayne became the first transgender actress to play a recurring transgender character on TV as Carmelita Rainer on ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money. On the show, her character had an affair with Billy Baldwin’s character.
5. She’s a Regular on Your Small Screen
In addition to making history for her role on Dirty Sexy Money, Cayne has also had several appearances on top TV shows, including CSI: NY, Nip/Tuck, Drop Dead Diva, Necessary Roughness,and most recently her recurring role on CBS’ Elementary as Ms. Hudson.
I Am Cait premieres Sunday, July 26, at 8 p.m. ET on E!