'Billions' star Asia Kate Dillon on using platform as first non-binary TV star

Dillon, like their character on "Billions," identifies as non-binary and was assigned female at birth. They explained their gender identity falls "somewhere outside the boxes of man or woman."
7:59 | 03/21/19

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Transcript for 'Billions' star Asia Kate Dillon on using platform as first non-binary TV star
correspondent Adam Rippon. It's my cast chair. Reporter: It's like a pinch me moment. It definitely is a pinch moment. Reporter: On a show about money, power and politics you might not expect to see an actor like Asia Kate Dylan. I did what I had to do to survive and win. Reporter: Asia is one of the stars of "Billions." The hit showtime series navigating the testosterone-driven world of It has changed my life in that they have shown me how to live in one's freedom. Reporter: Asia is breaking new ground with an unlikely leading character. Let's satisfy the buyers out there. Love it boss people. Reporter: Taylor mason, a brilliant hedge fund magnate who happens to be the first non-binary character on television. You sold out my relationship in order to do it. If Taylor had been created as a character where their non-buy nar eye identity was the main focus it's not something I would have wanted to play. Reporter: She previously appeared as a white supremacist on "Orange is the new black." I was on the cover of the magazine twice before the FBI figured out I was poisoning Jews. Reporter: She identifies as non-binary and was born with female sex organs. I didn't have the language for it. Reporter: I've never met someone who's non-binary. What does that mean? It is a term used by some people, myself included, who experience their gender as somewhere outside the boxes of man or woman. They use it because they experience it as both or neither or their gender is fluid. Reporter: You really like when someone, when you start a conversation with someone when you ask what their pronouns are. Mm-hm. Reporter: I'm Adam, and my pronouns are he, him, his. And I'm Asia, my pronouns are they, theirs. You create a space for everyone to be comfortable. Assigned sex and gender identity are different things. Reporter: But Asia didn't fully understand their gender identity until auditioning for "Billions." What's so crazy is the first time you heard female nonbuy nar nary is the first time you read this script. She identified as a trans person but hadn't changed their body. It's not part of their journey. It all fell into place because hit I had the language. I admire it, but I'm going to stop T. Reporter: Bobby Axelrod, the epitome of Wall Street masculinity. You got to pick sides. Bobby's relationship with Taylor is fraud. Reporter: The character of Taylor first appeared in the series' second season as Bobby's prot??g??. Hi, I'm Taylor. My pronouns are they, theirs and them. Okay. Reporter: Two seasons later, their relationship is in shambles. Can I trust you on this? You're the Genius. Figure it out. It emerged as we got to know Asia. And became clear what a statement that was in commercial mainstream entertainment. Reporter: That moment, Damian says, is helping bring the gender nonbinary conversation into a broughter context. A lot of us are meeting gender nonbienry people for the first time. Reporter: Behind the scenes, Asia is equal parts serious and do you have a favorite part about it? I love that the desk was custom made for Taylor and this office, which does feel very special. Reporter: It does. That appeal is what show runners Brian culpleman says helped Asia win the role. It has been very male and very white male. Though it's changing a little. Somebody like Taylor mason completely upsets that applecart. Reporter: Was Taylor always written as a non-binary role? 100%. We wrote it before she auditioned for the part. It's like asking a magician how to do their tricks. One of the things that's gratifying about playing Taylor is the feedback. Young people saying I never thought I would come to an understanding of my identity. And I saw Taylor on TV and I understood. And I also had feedback from people who say I'm from the south. I was homophobic, I was transphobic, and Taylor's really changing my heart and my mind. Reporter: Wow. And that is art affecting real change that is making the world a safer place. Reporter: But Asia says there's still work to do to conquer simple challenges they face every day. Airports are a place where from the moment you buy a ticket you're selecting a prefix and you have to pick a gender, male or female. So I usually for ease and safety choose female. Although lately I've been choosing doctor, because there's no gender associated with it. Reporter: Asia hopes to change norms and is using the platform to become a role model for others. Recently becoming an advocate for the gender project in new York. I came out as nonbinary at 2 1/2. A little over a year ago. Someone called me she, and I was like, I don't like that. Pretty much the same thing, hearing she and saying I never felt like a she from even my youth. I knew it never felt right to be a girl, but I also didn't feel like a boy either. So I just always tried to be me. It's always nice to meet other people and talk to them about it and go wow, that happens to you, too? I'm not alone? I feel less alone having met you. You are my community. You help me feel less alone in this moment and for every moment after this. So thank you. Reporter: Jean is the founder and director of the project. What is it like to have someone like Asia come and speak to your group? To have someone who is willing to be an ambassador gives me hope. One, two, three. Reporter: One of the things I admire about you the most is the way you use your voice. I'm a trans person, I'm a white person. I am listened to. So I am conscious of that, and I take advantage of it. Reporter: It's that pride that inspires Asia to keep speaking their freedom, to inspire those out there still struggling to find themselves.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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