Look…These Are Some Of The More Popular Transgender People In The World
Being transgender today is not a big issue anymore, but that was not the case a few years earlier. Coming out of the closes has always been a personal, familial, and community struggle. The transgender person usually finds it hard to express themselves and reveal their gender identity to their parents for fear of rejection. Even if the family accepts them, there is still the more significant issue of community acceptance. Many believe that society, in general, tolerates members of the LGBT community, but they are not accepting of them.
Meanwhile, the entertainment and modeling industry has always been a sort of haven for transgender people. It is in this space where they could make the needed investments and express their creativity. It is not without problems, of course, but this world has been more accepting. A quick look at the list below reveals that most of them have found their success in the industry. A good number have also excelled in other fields, like writing, teaching, and even business! So don’t fall into the trap of thinking that transgender people are only confined to the entertainment industry!
Alexandra Billings | Transgender Woman
Transgender men and women would usually undergo a complex and painful process of coming out. Alexandra Billings was no stranger to that, but she has been given credit for being the second transgender woman open enough to reprise a transgender role on TV. She played Donna in the 2005 TV film Romy and Michele: In the Beginning. Moreover, the movie opened up more opportunities, and she got to play the role of Davina in Transparent, an Amazon series after that.
Billings has also appeared as transgender in The Conners, Grey’s Anatomy, and ER, all highly-valued shows. Certainly an achiever, Billing is also a theater professor! Apart from acting and teaching, Billings is also very vocal about issues related to inclusivity and acceptance. She has supported causes that promote equality among LGBTQ. In fact, when she talked during the California State University commencement exercises, she highlighted the importance of using one’s voice to speak out about their rights.
Alexis Arquette | Transgender Woman
Prior to passing on in 2016, Alexis Arquette was an American actress. During the early days of her career, she performed mainly as a female impersonator. Her first showing on screen was as Alexis in Dawn and Out in Beverly Hills. When she became a bit older, at 19, she played the role of Georgette, a transgender person, in the Last Exit to Brooklyn. Most of her work was on low-budget films, but she still displayed good money management skills, saving about $1 to 5 million.
Arquette has also appeared as a supporting character in Pulp Fiction and Bride of Chucky. VH1 also took her in as a celebrity guest judge for The Surreal Life’s sixth season in 2005. Two years later, Bravo also got her as a judge in the reality show Top Design. Despite having moderate success as an actor, what Arquette really wanted was to have a gender-reassignment surgery, which with courage, she realized in 2006.
Amanda Lepore | Transgender Woman
David LaChapelle’s work without Amanda Lepore in it would feel empty and even incomplete. The renowned commercial photographer has featured the transgender model in many of his works, perhaps because he was initially enticed by her appearances as a model of numerous companies. As a testament to Lepore’s craft, she has also been tapped by other photographers like Ruben Van Schlam and Terry Richardson.
Early in her life, Amanda Lepore displayed investment management skills because she began making costumes for a friend in exchange for female hormone enhancement pills. She, later on, underwent gender affirmation surgery at 19 years old. After the surgery, Lepore relocated to New York and established herself as a nightlife figure. She also became a member of Club Kids. In 2017, she also released an autobiography, Doll Parts. The book featured photos of Lepore taken by various photographers. Lepore also ventured into other lines, including producing a doll inspired by the model.
Andrea James | Transgender Woman
Armed with a masters’ degree in English language and literature, Andrea James started advertising with the Chicago Tribune. She then worked for a decade at DDB Chicago, a worldwide marketing communications company. James later moved to Los Angeles in 2003 and then founded Deep Stealth Productions. This company focuses on offering voice coaching for trans women trying to pursue a career in music. The blogger was also a co-producer of HairFacts and HairTell, a forum about hair removal.
James has written about technology, pop culture, LGBT rights, and consumer rights on her blog. Apart from writing on her platform, she also contributes to The Huffington Post, eMedicine, and Wikipedia. James has been fighting for the transgender voice to get out of hiding finally. Calling herself a consumer activist who tackles trans issues, she always has been a significant figure in the LGBT community.
Andreja Pejić | Transgender Woman
Known as the world’s first genuinely androgynous supermodel, Andreja Pejić is a Bosnian-Australian actress and model. Right after coming out as a transgender woman in 2013, she became one of the most recognizable models in the world. When she was younger, they lived in Yugoslavia, but her mother felt unsafe and initiated the process to transfer to Australia. When their application was approved, they promptly contacted the moving company to help them with the revolution in 2000.
Now Pejić is a very vocal advocate of LGBT rights. She also talks about gender fluidity all the time. The model has used various platforms such as her interviews to communicate her views on various matters. Considering her reach, having appeared on the cover of many magazines, especially Vogue, we can be sure that her influence is massive. In 2013, Pejić underwent gender reassignment surgery, and then the following year, she started a crowdfunding campaign to produce a movie about the process and her life as a woman.
Andreas Krieger | Transgender Man
Before becoming a trans man, Andreas Krieger was named Heidi Krieger and competed for the women’s East German athletics team. He has always felt gender dysphoria, even at a young age. As it turned out, he had unknowingly and systematically been doping him with anabolic steroids for years by East German officials. Moreover, the event has caused body chemistry issues. He then later underwent gender reassignment surgery. Krieger felt sad that he had to undergo surgery after the doping issues. It was then unclear whether the doping led to dysphoria or other problems.
The experience he had with doping was traumatic, at the least. A PBS series entitled Secrets of the Dead featured his life. It was unclear why the German officials made this negative investment, but they have their reasons for sure. His story was also mentioned in the first episode of the BBC documentary called The Lost World of Communism.
Angel Qinan | Transgender Woman
A Filipino-American transgender actress, Angel Qinan, has been part of a couple of movies, including Act Like a Woman, Starlet Diner, and You’ll Be OK. Like many other transgender women, Qinan started her transition late, at 30 years old. After making the transition, she started modeling, acting, and hosting. She admitted doing this partially for her advocacy for transgender visibility and inclusivity.
The actress, who is also a nurse, has been pushing for more transgender roles in Hollywood. A high-achiever, Qinan was also recognized as the first openly transgender woman model to walk the prestigious Sacramento Fashion Week. She has also been featured on GMA News, The FilAm Magazine, PBS News Hour, and Elle Magazine. Despite all her achievements, she went back to her profession, as a nurse, in 2020 when the world needed more healthcare workers in hospitals. Qinan, to a great degree, has been an inspiration among both Filipino and American transgender people.
Angelica Ross | Transgender Woman
What happens if you combine Angelica Ross and business? The result would be TransTech Social Enterprises, a firm whose goal is to employ transgender people in the technological industry. Ross has made the necessary investments because she believed that transgender men and women should have equal access to business. More importantly, the ideal has always been her advocacy.
She was not into business right away, though, as she began acting on Her Story. The film suited her personality as she has always identified as feminine, even at a young age. After graduation from high school, Ross joined the Navy, but after six months of being in the service, she asked to be discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. It appeared she felt forced to admit he was gay by fellow soldiers. She then taught herself coding, which led to her building his tech and social enterprise company.
April Ashley | Transgender Woman
The year 1961 was not that good for April Ashley, now 86, as she was forcibly outed for being a transgender woman by the Sunday People newspaper. She was then recognized as one of the earlier British people who underwent gender reassignment surgery. Due to her life controversies, she and her husband hired lawyers to have their marriage annulled, a famous case known as Corbett v Corbett.
When Ashely suffered a heart condition in Longton, she retired for a few years in the Welsh town of Hay-On-Wye. Good news came as a new law called the Gender Recognition Act 2004, which allowed for the official recognition of Ashley as a woman. She was issued a new birth certificate, and the then deputy prime minister of the UK, John Prescott, helped her with the process. The actress now lives in South West London’s Fulham area.
Ataru Nakamura | Transgender Woman
Like her gender identity, Ataru Nakamura has always known her musical preferences, even at an early age. The singer was assigned male at birth but has always struggled with gender identity. She then decided to transition and become a female. Her official biography short contained details of her struggles, too.
After Nakamura signed with Avex Trax, she released her debut single, “Yogoreta Shitagi,” but it was her second single, “Tomodachi no Uta,” which caused her to be recognized internationally. This song chronicled her struggles with sexuality and the unrequited love she had for a friend. The single was well-received. Due to her new popularity, her first album, Ten Made Todoke, was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of Japan. She is notable for her two different styles when singing: a modern rock/pop sound and a degree of enka-inspired sound.
Balian Buschbaum | Transgender Man
What degree of sacrifice would you be willing to make to achieve your dreams? For Balian Buschbaum, sacrificing his dreams to transition to become a man was more important than anything else. Before transitioning as a transgender man, Buschbaum completed in women’s pole vaulting, even winning the title of German Youth Champion several times. In 2007, at the height of his sports career, he retired.
Shortly after, he announced that he was going to transition to a man. Later on, he revealed in his memoir, Blue Eyes Remain Blue, he credits the name “Balian” to Orlando Bloom’s character in the movie the Kingdom of Heaven. Now that he is recognized as a man, the former Olympian can pursue other interests. Today, he is a nutritionist, sports trainer, and coach. He even appeared on the German version of Dancing with the Stars back in 2013.
Bibiana Fernández | Transgender Woman
In the 1980s, Bibiana Fernández, also known as Bibi, was portrayed as a woman in several films, with no indication of transsexuality. Who gave her this chance? Victoria Abril, a fellow actress, played the lead transgender role in a movie released in 1977. Abril also mentored Fernandez, for which the latter was thankful. Apart from acting, Fernandez has also shown excellent singing skills, and she was able to sing her way into the Spanish pop charts.
As a transgender person, it has always been her goal to have gender reassignment surgery, which she fulfilled in 1991. After the operation, she legally changed her name to Bibiana, from Manuel. Before the medical practice, she had to take hormone treatments continuously. Now a fully recognized woman, she started working with director Pedro Almodovobar who gave her several movie credits. She also explored hosting several TV shows while still pursuing a career on the big screen.
Buck Angel | Transgender Man
Even before receiving the 2007 AVN Award as Transsexual Performer of the Year has always been vocal about LGBT rights, but this has intensified after he underwent gender reassignment that year. He is now an advocate, a writer, and an educator, with most of his work focused on LGBT advocacy. Angle also sat on the Board of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation from 2010 to 2016. This foundation works to affirm gender freedom and choice as fundamental human rights.
His work in the movie industry has inspired many and has used that medium to inspire others, especially the transgender community. In 2010, he even had the chance to talk at Canada’s Ideacity, where he had the opportunity to talk about the physical and emotional changes he experienced from his transition. One thing is clear; Angel has shown a great degree of dedication to advocating for the rights of the LGBT community.
Bülent Ersoy | Transgender Woman
A famous singing icon in Turkey, Bülent Ersoy, was rightfully nicknamed “Diva” by her fans and is also the voice behind many hit songs like “Biz Ayrılamayız,” “Geceler” and “Beddua.” With over thirty albums to her credit, Ersoy, no doubt, has made herself a formidable name in the Turkish music industry. It was not always easy for Ersoy’s career. However, as during her early years, she found herself fundamentally opposed to the ban imposed by the government against performances made by transgender people. She has also been vocal about her government going into war.
While she has primarily retired now, there are discussions about her coming up with new material. More importantly, it came about because she was displeased with the type of music she heard today. So in 2019, she announced the release of a new song, “Ümit Hırsızı.” Her fans were quick to gobble up the new musical piece.
Caitlyn Jenner | Transgender Woman
Her coming out could be the most shocking in the past decade. However, despite the popularity and wealth, they were all at risk, especially in this world where our beloved LGBTQ+ people are still experiencing discrimination. Caitlyn stood her ground and became true to herself. Right now, it is safe to say that people love her transformation even though there are still people who scratch their heads whenever they see her. Currently, she’s been making buzzes after her announcement that she will run for governor in the state of California. If she gets it, she might be the first transgender person ever to hold the position.
Before she became Caitlyn Marie Jenner, she was initially known as William Bruce Jenner. She was born on October 28, 1949, in Mount Kisco, New York. She was widely known as a decathlete who won gold in the Olympics. Apart from her rich daughters, she is also wealthy, her net worth is $100 million, and she probably has limitless credit cards.
Calpernia Addams | Transgender Woman
Calpernia Sarah Addams was born on February 20, 1971, in Nashville, Tennessee. Her first name came from the play of William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar. She’s an actress, author, and activist for transgender rights, to name a few. Surprisingly, she has one of the most interesting coming out stories in showbiz, and it happened during the last year of her military service. With the help of Andrea James, she probably dropped a significant amount of investment money to establish Deep Stealth Productions in 2002. This company aims to do many things, and the common denominator is to help people who are struggling regarding their gender.
In 1999, she dated PFC Barry Winchell, but their love story ended in the most unfortunate manner. His fellow soldiers took the life of Winchell for the reason that he’s dating a transgender person. This event filled every media publication as even the former President Bill Clinton condoned this unjust circumstance. In 2003, their story was depicted in the movie Soldier’s Girl.
Candis Cayne | Transgender Woman
For her recurring role in the TV series Dirty Sex Money, Cayne made history for becoming the first actress to reprise a recurring role on television. On the other hand, she experienced being a parent to the daughter of her former partner DJ Marco McDermott for eight years. However, it could also be the root cause of why after their split, Cayne was considering being a single mother by adopting; the actress mentioned in 2016 after appearing in the second season of Caitlyn Jenner’s show, I Am Cait. She has other acting credits for the film Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen and Making The Boys.
Cayne came to be on August 29, 1971, on the sunny island of Hawaii. She is an actress and performing artist. She is a known supporter of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation or GLAAD and even referred to the LGBTQ+ community as “the last great minority.”
Candy Darling | Transgender Woman
Darling was born in Forest Hills, New York City, on November 24, 1944. She is extensively known as a transgender icon and a Warhol Superstar. Candy is considered one of the most influential pop artists, and with her time working with Andy Warhol, she landed numerous film projects such as Women in Revolt and Flesh.
Later, she split from Warhol and appeared in several independent films like Silent Night, Bloody Night, Some of My Best Friends Are… and Brand X. Moreover, aside from lending his impressive acting skills in TV and films, he could also boast her theater credits, including Vain Victory: The Vicissitudes of the Damned and Glamour, Glory and Gold. Unfortunately, she kicked the bucket in 1974; she was just 29 years old. In 2010, she was featured in the documentary entitled Beautiful Darling. Also, it was announced in January 2019 that there would be a biopic about her, which was executive produced by Zackary Drucker and penned by Stephanie Kornick.
Carmen Carrera | Transgender Woman
Carmen Herrera was born in Elmwood, New Jersey, on April 13, 1985. She is a drag performer who has already made an appearance in the very popular RuPaul’s Drag Race. However, Herrera is not a total fan of the show because the actress once called out RuPaul for his transphobic comments. According to Carmen, even though she looked like a male in the front, she eventually cleared the water and revealed that she’s a transgender woman.
Aside from RuPaul’s Drag Race, she earned numerous reality TV series credits, such as Real Housewives of New York City and Cake Boss. In 2013, her name was brought up to a petition, which aimed for Victoria’s Secret to hire and let her be the first transwoman ever to walk the world-renowned runway. The signature then received more than 35,000 signatures, but the lingerie company still failed to recognize the timely gesture.
Caroline Cossey | Transgender Woman
Caroline, also known as Tula, was born in Brooke, United Kingdom, on August 31, 1954. After her appearance in the 1981 movie For Your Eyes Only, a James Bond film, the British news outlet News of the World referred to her as a transgender person. In 1991, another win for the LGBTQ+ community as Cossey became their first representative to grace Playboy magazine. Since then, she never stops fighting to have the right to get married and be recognized as a woman legally.
While she’s working in London’s West End, her investment in gender transition started as an usherette. At 17, she began taking hormone therapy. Aside from working as a showgirl, she has also undergone breast augmentation and sex reassignment surgery. Later, she changed her legal name, and the final surgery to womanhood happened on December 31, 1974, in London. Cossey decided to publish her autobiography in 1982, entitled I Am a Woman.
Chaz Bono | Transgender Man
He initially identified himself as a lesbian when he confirmed it with The Advocate’s magazine in April 1995. His transition to manhood started in mid-2008. In case you’re out of the loop, Chaz’s parents are Sonny Bono and the magnificent Cher, a vocal ally of the LGBTQ+ community.
Chastity Sun Bono was his birth name but eventually turned into Chaz Salvatore Bono. He was born in Los Angeles, California, on March 4, 1969. After he came out, he then worked for The Advocate as a writer. Also, for a person with a significantly large platform, he did impressive things for the group. He was a Human Rights Campaign’s spokesperson and became GLAAD or Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s Entertainment Media Director. As an actor, he has acting credit with numerous television series such as American Horror Story: Cult, The Bold and the Beautiful, and Where the Bears Are.
Charlie Jane Anders | Transgender Woman
It’s just a gender! One’s sexual preference and orientation will not define who you’re going to be. It won’t be a hindrance to success, and that’s how Anders proved. She is a commentator and an award-winning author. She has hosted podcasts, published several magazines, and penned numerous novels. Furthermore, some of her books have Choir Boy, All the Birds In The Sky, and The City In The Middle Of The Night. Among the awards she got from these are Lambda Literary Award, IAFA William L. Crawford Fantasy Award, Locus Award for the best novel categorized in science fiction, respectively.
Charlie graduated from the University of Cambridge with her degree in English and Asian literature. Before she relocated to San Francisco, California, she used to live in Boston and Hong Kong. She has been in a relationship with Annalee Newitz since 2000. They even teamed up with the podcast Our Opinions Are Correct, which eventually received the Hugo Award for Best Fancast.
Chelsea Manning | Transgender Woman
She was formerly known as Bradley Edward Manning. She was born in Crescent, Oklahoma, on December 17, 1987. She classifies herself as a transwoman, and since childhood, she has wanted to be recognized as Chelsea Manning. In her written article, she disclosed that she first showed the world his feminine appearance in 2010. If you’re wondering about who she is, this person is known for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks when she was a US Army soldier. That same year, she faced imprisonment for violating the Espionage Acts and several other charges. In 2013, Manning’s attorney revealed the client wanting to be addressed as a female and for pronouns to be adjusted accordingly. She was eventually released in 2017, with the help of former President Barack Obama.
In 2018, she went head-to-head with Senator Ben Cardin to be nominated for the US Senate election in Maryland, her home state. Unfortunately, Cardin won via landslide. Chelsea only received 5.8% of the votes, while Ben scored 80.4% of the votes.
Christine Jorgensen | Transgender Woman
She was a WWII veteran who is notable for being the first individual to go through gender reassignment surgery. Because of this, she became famous overnight. Jorgensen came to be on May 30, 1926, in New York City, New York. Not long after her high school graduation, she faced a draft with serving the United States Army in 1945. After serving, Jorgensen attended different schools and began working. She learned about the procedure and decided to fly to Europe, specifically to Copenhagen, Denmark. Her gender transition began in 1952.
When he came back to the US, she appeared on the front page of New York Daily News. She then started earning a recognizable platform and used it to uplift the morale of transgender people. In 2012, Christine was inducted into the Legacy Walk because of her contribution to the LGBTQ+ Community. She passed away in 1989, with an unforgettable mark.
Dana International | Transgender Woman
Dana was born Yaron Cohen on February 2, 1973, in Tel Aviv, Israel. She is a singer who gained a degree of international fame after winning the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest. Consequently, the event is an ordinary win for him and won for the community International represented, the LGBTQ+. She became the first transexual for her success; she released several albums such as Umpatampa, Maganuna, and Free. In addition, she also put out a long list of successful singles, which include Diva, I Need Your Love, and Ding Dong.
In 1993, International undergone sex reassignment surgery and later changed her legal name to Sharon Cohen. In July 2018, she sang her single Ani Nitzakhti at the Israeli LGBT’s strike. Later, she released her version of the Jewish song Who Is the Man to support the Jerusalem Pride and Tolerance Parade.
Dominique Jackson | Transgender Woman
This fierce model, actress, TV personality, and author were from Scarborough, Trinidad, and Tobago. At age 18, she fled to the United States because her family did not accept her sexual orientation. Once she arrived in the country, she became homeless, which led him to do sex work. Later, she walked towards the path of modeling, but her early works were done for free. In 2009, she modeled for Adrian Alicea and eventually strutted for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Aside from this, she also graced to be a model for Vogue España.
As an actress, Jackson has artistic credits in a handful of series, including the 2018 FX series Pose, where she portrayed the leading role of Elektra Abundance. In the documentary film MY TRUTH, she also appeared MY STORY: A Caribbean LGBTQ+ Oral History Project. If you’re curious about her love life, she was married to Al Jackson but called it quit in 2018.
Dorce Gamalama | Transgender Woman
She is a transwoman from Indonesia whose name came from Mount Gamalama. She is a pop singer, actress, and comedian, to name a few. She is often called Bunda, which translates to the word Mother. Gamalama was born on July 21, 1963, in Solok, West Sumatra. When she was just seven years old, she already felt that she’s not a boy but a girl. Since then, she started wearing women’s clothes, and from performing with the singing group Bambang Brothers, she moved to Fantastic Dolls. The names stated the obvious!
Just like other persons on this list, Dorce also went through sex reassignment surgery. When Gamalama was just a year old, she already became an orphan. Additionally, it could be why she reportedly owns several orphanages, which cost her a tremendous amount of investment money. These orphanages have catered thousands of children already. Also, she adopted four children and now has six grandchildren.
Elliot Page | Transgender Man
She is formerly known as Ellen Page, but because of her gender transition, she decided to be known as Elliott Page. So from now on, we’ll use all the masculine pronouns. He achieved a significant degree of fame after she appeared in the TV franchise Pit Pony. He then landed several roles before his breakthrough, which happened in the 2005 movie Hard Candy. For this one, he received an Austin Film Critics Association Award. Two years later, he was cast for a titular role in the film Juno for which the actor received a nomination for Best Actress in most award-giving bodies such as Academy, BAFTA, SAG, and Golden Globe Award. Among other popular projects, he was in are the X-Men franchise and the Netflix series Umbrella Academy.
Page revealed that he is a gay woman in February 2014, while in December 2020, she stated that he is transgender. In March 2021, he added another win for the LGBTQ+ community as he became the first trans man to grace the Time magazine cover.
Erika Ervin | Transgender Woman
She boasts professional recognition as Amazon Eve. Ervin is an actress, model, and fitness trainer and was born on February 23, 1979, in Turlock, California. Many might know her from her acting credits in American Horror Story: Freak Show, Hemlock Grove, and American Horror Story: Apocalypse. As a model, she graced the cover of Zoo Weekly, an Australian magazine.
Fun fact: At age 14, she already stood 5’11. Now, she is taller than Michael Jordan! She stands 6’8” feet, while the NBA legend is several inches short. With this height, she earned a Guinness World Record for the World’s Tallest Professional Model, given in 2011.
In 2004, Erika went through a certainly expensive procedure called SRS or sex reassignment surgery. According to Net Worth Post, Ervin is currently living in Los Angeles, California, and probably enjoying her fortune, valued at $2 million. In her spare time, she spends her energy being an LGBT activist.
Eva Robin’s | Transgender Woman
Before Eva Robin’s discovered her true self, she was born as the male Roberto Maurizio Coatti. During her early teenage years, she slowly came to terms with her natural inclinations and accepted that her true self is indeed that of a woman. A few years later, a transgender neighbor of hers taught her about feminizing hormones. And by her early 20s, Eva was already living as a woman. Eva proclaims to be entirely comfortable about her body and is not open to go through a sex rearrangement surgery to her credit. Eva also says that she is an androgynous and not a transgender person. Moreover, the actress also identifies as intersex. During her pubescent days, she didn’t develop masculine traits — she grew breasts.
Nowadays, Eva is 62 years old, and one of her career highlights as an actress is her performance in the 1982 movie Tenebrae, directed by Dario Argento.
Fallon Fox | Transgender Woman
Fallon Fox is a native of Toledo, Ohio, and she was born on November 29, 1975, as a male. And at a very young age of five, she recalls being troubled about her gender. Fox would carry this burden as a teenager and would presume to be gay. And although she learned about transgender people when she was 17, she still lived on as a heterosexual man and even married her then-girlfriend during the tail end of her teenage years. At that time, they were expecting a daughter and Fallon decided to join the US Navy for her to have ample investment money for her daughter’s future.
After her stint with the Navy, she decided to continue with her formal education and attended college at Toledo. However, her unresolved gender issues loomed hard over her, and she decided to drop out. She confronted this issue head-on and worked as a truck driver until she had enough money to undergo gender reassignment surgery. In 2006, Fallon traveled to Bangkok to go through with the surgery. Nowadays, Fallon is famous for being the first openly transgender mixed martial artist.
Fay Presto | Transgender Woman
Letitia Winter is better known as the magician Fay Presto. She is part of The Inner Magic Circle and is widely known for her prowess for the close-up style of magic. Fay earned a degree of esteem through her career for being part of the Champions of Magic tour. Moreover, the legendary performer traveled and performed across the UK from 2014 until 2007. The act featured the likes of Alex McLear, Edward Hilsum, and Young & Strange.
Before entering the world of magicians, Fay was a lab assistant working for an atomic energy research company. Simultaneously, she tried to finish her formal education while also working in sales. Eventually, she’d find her love for magic, and she’d find her way into The Inner Magic Circle organization. However, as Fay would discover her true self and begin to transition and take hormone therapy, she was shunned by the organization due to their archaic standards. In 1991, The Inner Magic Circle finally voted to favor an equal opportunity for women and recognized them as fellow magicians. Fay would become one of the first women to be welcomed.
Gigi Gorgeous | Transgender Woman
Gigi Loren Lazzarato Getty, better known simply as Gigi Gorgeous, is a rising Youtube star gaining notoriety. In addition, she was born in 1992 as Gregory Allan Lazzarato as a male in Quebec, Canada. She grew up in a Catholic environment and went to George Brown College. There she studied fashion but would later leave and focus on a career as a YouTube content creator. YouTuber Michelle Phan’s makeup videos initially inspired her, and Gigi started her videos in 2008. She also first came out as gay when she was 16, and her videos slowly geared her content towards fashion, vlogs, and lifestyle videos.
In 2013, Gigi finally came out as a transgender woman. She made the investments and underwent several operations, from hormone replacement therapy to facial feminization therapy. And a year after, she legally changed her name.
Greer Lankton | Transgender Woman
Greer Lankton was born into a religious family in Flint, Michigan. She had a rough childhood, often getting teased and harassed. Greer found solace in her hobby of creating dolls. She used different types of flowers and hollyhocks, and pipe cleaners as materials for her early creations. And when she eventually entered college at the Art Institute of Chicago and later at Pratt Institute in New York, she also started taking her doll-making hobby seriously. In Pratt, Greer finally found her true self and made the investments for sex reassignment surgery.
Greer had a prolific career as an artist, creating beautiful dolls, which takes inspiration from celebrities and friends alike. She was a prominent figure in the art scene at East Village during the ‘80s. Her art displayed social undertones, which often touch on sexuality and gender.
Harisu | Transgender Woman
Lee Kyung-Eun or popularly known as Harisu, is a famous singer-performer, actress, and model in Korea. She is a pop idol who initially garnered attention back in 2001. Harisu first appeared in a TV commercial for the cosmetics company DoDo. The ad effectively launched her career, and she eventually delved into acting and music. Since then, she has recorded five studio albums and even garnered a degree of international fame with Mandarin songs. Harisu also starred in the 2001 film Yellow Hair 2 and has appeared on Taiwanese and Hong Kong film and TV productions.
Harisu was born as a male and would later undergo sex reassignment surgery. Although her parents initially struggled with the idea of her transitioning, they eventually came to terms with it and now takes pride in what she has achieved with her career. Harisu has spread awareness about the plights of the transgender community in Korea and, at the same time, has brought joy to the millions with her entertainment career.
Harmony Santana | Transgender Woman
Harmony Santana has made tremendous strides for the transgender community over the past decade. She is of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent. She takes credit for being the first openly transgender woman to be nominated for significant acting rewards in the US. Santana received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance on the coming-of-age film Gun Hill Road of 2011 at the Independent Spirit Award ceremony.
Before being cast for her historic role, Santana lived in a group home in Manhattan, New York. The house became a catering venue for LGBTQ individuals, and director Rashad Ernesto Green scouted her at a Pride Parade in Queens. Rashad found the perfect role for her, in which she would not disappoint. Apart from Gun Hill, Santana also has roles in the comedy film franchise Eating Out, where she appeared in the 4th and 5th installment.
Holly Woodlawn | Transgender Woman
Holly Woodland is one of the prominent actresses back in the ‘70s. She lived a bohemian childhood and is a native of Puerto Rico; and grew up in Miami and came out at a young age. Woodlawn changed her name to Holly, which is inspired by the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Midway into her teens, Woodlawn traveled to New York in search of meaning. In 1969, she thought about making investments for a sex reassignment surgery but eventually decided against it. That same year she also picked up her last name Woodland, which she saw on an episode of I Love Lucy.
Holly changed her career for the better when she met Andy Warhol at his studio to screen the 1968 film Flesh. Andy connected her to Jackie Curtis, who would, in turn, cast her for the 1969 play Heaven in Amber Orbit. And since then, she constantly appeared in various plays and films and even sang for Gabriel Rotello during the mid-’80s.
Ian Harvie | Transgender Man
Ian Harvie is a distinguished stand-up comic and actor. He is best known for his credit performances in the show Transparent. Harvie began his journey back in 2002 at Portland in a modest comedy club. There he honed his act and would eventually make a move to Los Angeles. There he garnered further success and joined Margaret Cho’s tour as her opening act. Harvie would also become a permanent cast member of Cho’s The Sensuous Woman, an off-broadway comedy production. Ian then rode the momentum of success, performing across the globe and even hosted his talk show, The Ian Harvie Show.
Though Ian was born a female, he was transgender at a very young age, albeit he didn’t know the term for his identity. He initially came out as gay when he was 19 and would finally come out as transgender by 32.
Isis King | Transgender Woman
Isis King is a famous actress, model, and fashion designer famous for her credit appearances in the contest America’s Next Top Model. King is given credit for being the first trans woman to compete on the reality show and would eventually become a respected transgender figure in American TV. The actress has appeared on several iterations of the soap The Bold, Beautiful and the 7th season of Shameless. And in 2019, she was cast in Ava DuVernay’s Netflix show When They See Us.
King was born in 1985 as a male, but she has said that everything about her was born female. She also stated that she might be referred to as transexual or transgender; she likes the phrase “born in the wrong body” better. During her formative years, King came out as gay but later realized that this wasn’t her true identity. It wasn’t until the actress relocated to New York, where she made the transition.
Jackie Curtis | Transgender Woman
Jackie Curtis was a famous writer, singer, and actress back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. She is Andy Warhol’s star and gives her credit by stating that she is not a drag queen but an artist.
Jackie was born in New York in 1947. She had a rough upbringing, and she also has a brother, an openly gay Episcopal priest. Jackie often performed as a woman and man throughout her career. Her drag appearance was a signature mixture of glamour and trashy, which pioneered the idea that Jackie may have just inspired the glam rock era of the ‘70s. She debuted as a teenager at the age of 17 in the play Miss Nefertiti Regrets. Subsequently, Curtis began to write her plays, which often starred prominent transgender people. Moreover, she also starred in the 1968 film Flesh, directed by Paul Morrissey.
Jahna Steele | Transgender Woman
Jahna Steele was a famous Las Vegas showgirl and entertainer. In 1991, she was even given credit for being the Sexiest Showgirl on the Strip. And the following years, she was named Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year and Most Beautiful Showgirl. However, controversy loomed when she was outed by the TV show A Current Affair as being transgender in 1992. Afterwhich, she was fired from her career in Las Vegas. Nonetheless, progressives backed her up, and she made countless appearances in different films and TV shows throughout her career.
Steele was a native of Texas and was a pageant winner in a Miss Gay USA under the name of Jhoana Reis. She underwent sex reassignment surgery during her 20s. Eventually, she would also legally change her name to Johanau Erica Steele and become a cast member of the Crazy Girls Revue in Las Vegas at the Riviera during the ‘80s.
Jake Zyrus | Transgender Man
Jake Zyrus is a famous singer and TV personality. He was born a female under the name of Charmaine Clarice Pempengco in Laguna, Philippines. During his earlier years, he found a passion for singing and entered a plethora of talent contests. He locally rose to fame in the Philippines in 2005, when she joined the competition Little Big Star, which was akin to the world-famous talent show American Idol. Although he only placed third in the contest, he garnered much-deserved attention and was cast for various commercials and TV shows in the Philippines. Moreover, he earned a degree of international fame as a YouTube sensation garnering over 15 million views across her videos.
With the success of her internet celebrity status, she would eventually receive invitations to talk shows such as The Ellen Degeneres Show and even The Oprah Winfrey Show, where he sang his famous song Pyramid. He also performed at the first inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Jamie Clayton | Transgender Woman
Jamie Clayton is a famous model and actress. She was born in San Diego in 1978, where she lived her formative years. She moved to New York by the age of 19 and pursued a career as a makeup artist.
Jaime’s initial career breakthrough was in VH1’s TRANSform Me, tenured as a co-host and a makeup artist. Not long after, she was cast for the role of Kyla in the HBO comedy series Hung, which starred the likes of Thomas Jane and Jane Adams. In 2012, she appeared in the acclaimed web series Dirty Work, which was given credit with an Emmy Award. Moreover, she appeared as Nomi Marks in the Netflix series Sense8, a trans woman and hacker from San Francisco. Jamie then continued to ride the wave of success, starring in the Netflix series Designated Survivor for its third season as Sasha Booker.
Janet Mock | Transgender Woman
Janet Mock is a writer, a TV Host, and an activist for trans rights. She graduated with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and earned a Masters of Arts in Journalism. Subsequently, Mock began her career, making a job at People magazine as a staff editor. Her tenure lasted for five years. She eventually shifted towards media advocate when she came out as a transgender person in the early 2010s in Keirna Mayo’s article, Marie Claire, which was written in Mock’s voice.
Mock was born in 1983 as a male in Honolulu, Hawaii. She then transitioned during her freshman year in high school and even funded her medical transition with her own investment money. Mock picked up the name of Janet, inspired by the famous Janet Jackson. In 2014, she debuted her book, Redefining Realness, where she goes through the social issues that the transgender community faces.
Jayne County | Transgender Woman
Jayne Rogers, also known by her stage name Jayne County, is a prolific American singer, songwriter, and record producer whose career spanned over six decades. She performed under the name Wayne County as the lead vocalist and is known for their foul-mouth ballads and glam punk-inspired songs. County was also known for a wild attitude during her live performances. She’d often display outrageous and unpredictable stage antics while continuing to showcase her distinctive singing voice.
Jayne County broke barriers in the music industry by being rock’s first openly transgender singer. She’s definitely an icon, and she’s collaborated with other figures, most notably Andy Warhol during the 1970s. County also deserves credit for being a major influence to other music icons such as Patti Smith, Lou Reed, the Ramones, and the one and only David Bowie. It’ll definitely be challenging to top County’s contributions to music!
Jenna Talackova | Transgender Woman
Jenna Talackova is a popular Canadian model and television personality. She first gained media attention back in 2012 when she successfully pursued legal action after being disqualified in Miss Universe Canada for being transgender. Eventually, Jenna was allowed to compete to the delight of the LGBTQ community. She may have lost the beauty pageant, but she won an important and monumental civil rights test. However, she did win the title of Miss Congeniality and was named as co-grand marshal of the 2012 Vancouver Pride Parade.
We’d certainly have to give credit to Jenna for fighting for her rights. Her decision to fight for her rights certainly paved the way for new opportunities for the LGBTQ community. Talackova was definitely successful in raising the awareness of gender inequality that we have in our society today. Today, Jenna’s a full-pledged model, and she continues to voice her opinion towards various topics that concern gender inequality.
Jin Xing | Transgender Woman
Jin Xing is a well-known Chinese ballerina, modern dancer, and choreographer. She’s the founder and artistic director of a prominent dance company in Shanghai called the Jin Xing Shanghai Dance Company. She’s also an actress and has a couple of acting credits to her name. Some of Jin’s distinguished acting appearances came in films like Tom-Yum-Goong and Resurrection of the Little Match Girl.
Jin Xing is indeed a well-known figure in China. She’s been a subject of several documentaries, and she even appeared in a handful of television shows. On top of that, the woman once appeared and competed on the hit show Amazing Race China 3, where she and her husband finished sixth back in 2016. She’s also famous for being a transgender celebrity. Though being a transgender celebrity might pose a couple of challenges, Jin definitely pushed through and persevered, eventually finding success.
Kate Bornstein | Transgender Woman
Kate Bornstein is a successful author, playwright, actor, and performance artist. He published several books, with a good chunk of them tackling issues and topics concerning gender. In 1986, Kate identified as gender non-conforming and made remarks about not calling himself a woman and knowing that he’s not a man at the same time. Kate eventually received sex reassignment surgery and now identifies herself as nonbinary.
Talking about someone’s gender can be pretty complicated and sensitive. Nonetheless, Kate deserves credit for defining and simplifying any concerns about her gender with the use of pronouns such as she/her and they/them. Pushing talks about gender aside, Kate continues to publish books, and she’s best known for publishing an exceptional seminal transgender manifesto titled Gender Outlaw. She has also been able to put together successful performance pieces such as Strangers in Paradox, Hard Candy, Virtually Yours, and Hidden: A Gender.
Kelly Van Der Veer | Transgender Woman
Kelly van der Veer is a well-known Dutch television personality and singer. She’s known for appearing on the Dutch version of Big Brother titled Big Brother: The Battle. She also participated in several Dutch reality shows specifically for transgender competitors. Some of Kelly’s most notable television credits came in shows like Gay in Amsterdam, De TV kantine, and Meiden van de Wit.
Kelly was born back in May of 1980, and she says that her formative years were an incredibly difficult phase in her life. Kelly was often mistaken for a girl and had to frequently deal with ridicule. She saw an escape by cultivating a career as a media personality and eventually underwent gender reassignment surgery at the age of 19. Kelly found success as a television personality in her home country, and now, she plans to gain a foothold in the American media scene. She currently lives in the United States, and she’s taken up a part-time residence in Florida.
Kim Petras | Transgender Woman
Kim Petras is a well-known German singer and songwriter. She began recording during her teenage years, and she’s been able to release hit songs such as Heart to Break, I Don’t Want It at All, Feeling of Falling, and many more. Following her early success, Kim was able to release a compilation of digital singles that would comprise her unofficial project known as Era 1.
Kim Petras had to deal with a good number of issues concerning her gender. She first appeared in a documentary and talk show in an effort to push for a gender confirmation surgery at the age of 16. Her appearances resulted in a widely covered media phenomenon that focused on her transition. She was dubbed as the “world’s youngest transexual,” and she’s also one of the youngest people to undergo transgender hormone therapy. Despite all of the controversies that she’s dealt with, she deserves credit for not allowing it to affect her growth as a musician.
Kye Allums | Transgender Man
Kye Allums is a former college basketball player who played for the George Washington University women’s team. He’s best known for coming out as a trans man back in 2010, becoming the first openly transgender college athlete in Division I of the NCAA. He played college basketball for three years and had a career average of 6.3 PPG, 1.0 APG, and 3.8 RPG. He’s undoubtedly one of the most exciting players to have ever played college hoops.
Today, Allums travels around the United States to talk about life as a transgender person. He often visits high schools, universities, and colleges to discuss various topics that concern the transgender community and how it’s possible to be transgender and play on a college team. The athlete’s definitely an active member of the LGBTQ community, and he deserves credit for using his platform to educate millions. His contributions were recognized, and he received an induction into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.
Laura Grace | Transgender Man
Laura Jane Grace is an American musician who’s best known as the founder, lead singer, and songwriter of the Floridian punk rock band Against Me!. She’s also the lead singer of the band Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers, a solo project that she started back in 2016. She’s released a good number of studio albums and EP since 2002 and continues to create music to this day. Her most recent music credit was a solo studio album titled Stay Alive, released in 2020.
Laura is known for being one of the most popular punk rock musicians to have come out as transgender. She publicly came out in May 2012, and she has become a trans activist and icon since then. Laura even used Against Me’s 2014 album Transgender Dysphoria to address several facets and issues about everyday trans life. She also worked on a web series titled True Trans, which received an Emmy nomination.
Lauren Harries | Transgender Woman
Lauren Harris, originally James Harries, is a well-known British television personality who’s appeared on a series of BBC TV shows about antiques. She started appearing on television in 1988, most notably on Terry Wogan’s chat show, Wogan. Harries was ten years old back then, and she demonstrated her expertise when it came to dealing and handling antiques. Three years later, the Brit wrote an antique guide titled Rags to Riches.
Lauren underwent gender reassignment surgery back in 2004. She was then featured in a documentary titled Little Lady Fauntleroy made by Keith Allen in which he interviewed the entire Harries family. Lauren once again appeared in a television series Trust Me – I’m a Beauty Therapist, which was filmed in Swansea, Wales. She definitely deserves credit for making the most out of her media exposure, as she was also featured as a cover for Transliving.
Laverne Cox | Transgender Woman
Laverne Cox is a popular American actress and LGBTQ+ advocate. She first rose into prominence through her credit role as “Sophia Burset” on the hit Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. Subsequently, Laverne was able to receive a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award for her performance in the show, making her the first transgender person to receive such an accolade. Moreover, she received a Daytime Emmy Award as an executive producer for Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word, making her the first transgender person to win the award.
You could say that Laverne Cox helped paved the way and increased awareness for the LGBTQ+ community. She’s the living testament that gender won’t matter when it comes to being able to master a particular craft. In 2014, Laverne became the first transgender person to emerge on the cover of Time magazine. She also appeared on other magazine covers such as Cosmopolitan. Cox is also the first transgender person to have a wax silhouette of herself at the famous Madame Tussauds museum.
Lea T | Transgender Woman
Leandra Cerezo, also known as Lea T, is a professional Brazilian-born transgender fashion model. She’s been referred to as the “muse” of Riccardo Tisci, who’s the chief creative officer of the British luxury brand Burberry. Interestingly, the “T” in her professional last name stands for Tisci. Furthermore, Lea is the face of many brands, including the American hair-care brand Redken. She’s undoubtedly an icon in pop culture and, most importantly, in the transgender advocacy of the LGBT community.
Lea underwent gender reassignment surgery back in March 2012 in Thailand. According to Lea, she had negative feelings about the surgery at first, but two weeks later, she remarked that she was satisfied with the results. Since then, she’s moved on to be one of the most influential icons in the world. Interestingly, Lea was on the list of BBC’s 100 Women announced for 2020. It certainly garnered criticism from many people, but it marked a new day for the fight in raising awareness against the discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community to Lea’s credit.
Leslie Feinberg | Transgender Woman
Leslie Feinberg was a well-known LGBTQ advocate, author, and transgender activist. Feinberg was able to publish several books, including Stone Butch Blues, back in 1993. Interestingly, her writing in Stone Butch Blues and her 1996 book Transgender Warriors played a key role in raising awareness around gender studies. She definitely deserves credit for bringing and raising important issues concerning gender to a more mainstream audience.
Feinberg’s work regarding Trans life and gender studies was undoubtedly exceptional. In turn, she received the Lambda Literary Award in 1994 for her work. She was also able to identify the correct pronouns when it comes to talking about her gender. In a 2006 interview, Feinberg said that her preferred pronouns would vary depending on the context. She remarks that she’s a female-bodied, butch lesbian and that referring to her as “she/her” is appropriate.
Maddie Blaustein | Transgender Woman
Maddie Blaustein, also known as Kendra Bancroft, was a popular American voice actress. She’s best known for her exceptional voice acting work on cartoon franchises such as Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon, and Sonic the Hedgehog. You could say that everyone who grew up in the 90s and the 2000s is definitely familiar with her voice. Interestingly, Maddie was the first intersex and transgender voice artist in the industry and for her respective agencies.
Besides voice acting, Maddie also managed to find success as a comic writer. She’s been able to write several comics for Milestone Comics. Maddie even introduced one of the first transgender female characters in superhero comics. Whether it was in her voice roles or her passion as a comic writer, Maddie deserves credit for using her platform to raise awareness and equality, not just for the LGBTQ community but the entire world in general.
Marie-Pierre Pruvot | Transgender Woman
Marie-Pierre Pruvot was a French transgender woman who performed as a showgirl under the stage name “Bambi.” Pruvot performed as a transgender showgirl at Le Carrousel de Paris for approximately two decades. While serving as a showgirl regularly, she appeared in several films in 1959 and 1963. Her last appearance in a documentary came in the 2013 documentary, which was named after her stage name Bambi.
One cannot argue that Pruvot, or “Bambi,” was an extremely popular showgirl at the peak of her career. However, Pruvot chose to pursue a college degree while working on her entertainment career at the same time. She acquired her university degrees at the Sorbonne, and she became a teacher of literature in 1974. Pruvot began her teaching career at Garges-Les-Gonesse, and she remained there for the next two decades. She was later honored and inducted into the Ordre des Palmes Academiques.
Marsha P. Johnson | Transgender Woman
The talk about the LGBTQ spectrum wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Marsha P. Johnson and her contributions to the topic. She was born Malcolm Michaels Jr. and was a gay liberation activist and a self-identified drag queen. Johnson was a widely outspoken advocate for gay rights and was one of the prominent figures in the 1969 Stonewall uprising. She also founded the Gay Liberation Front and co-founded S.T.A.R. or Street Transvetite Action Revolutionaries.
Besides being a prominent figure in raising gay awareness, Johnson was also into modeling. She was a popular figure in the gay and art scene in New York City. She even had the chance to model for Andy Warhol and perform together with the drag performance troupe Hot Peaches. Due to her popularity, Johnson received credit as the “mayor of Christopher Street,” and she enjoyed a welcoming presence in the streets of Greenwich Village.
Mimi Marks | Transgender Woman
Mimi Marks is a well-known entertainer based in Chicago. Born as a male in Iowa in 1967, she began to have thoughts about transitioning since childhood and began to make an investment in transitioning from male to female later in her life. In 1986, she had won her first pageant title, Ms. Waterloo, at The Old Dutch Mill in Chicago. She fully transitioned to being a woman a year later, at the age of 21. Subsequently, she has joined countless beauty pageants and won many of them. Among the most notable include Miss Continental in 1992, The World’s Most Beautiful Transsexual Contest in 2004, and Miss International Queen in 2005. The latter is the most prestigious pageant for trans women worldwide.
Aside from beauty pageants, Marks has also made a career off modeling. She has been reported to be the first openly trans runaway model after signing on with Ford Models. In addition, she has appeared in Janet Jackson’s music video back in 2008.
Nadia Almada | Transgender Woman
Nadia Almada has garnered fame during the mid-2000s. Born in Madeira, Portugal, she came into the spotlight in 2004 when she was one of the contestants on the fifth season of Big Brother in Britain. In the end, the talented celebrity had won the contest and its prize money of more than $100,000, making her the first transgender person to have won the competition. Banking on her Big Brother fame, she ventured into other fields such as singing and acting, achieving modest success in those areas. She has subsequently appeared on numerous TV shows in Britain.
In 2010, she returned to Big Brother in a cameo appearance. In that same year, she participated in Ultimate Big Brother but couldn’t replicate her previous success, as she was evicted on the eighth day of the competition. After that, Almada has mostly disappeared from the spotlight, intending to have her career path. Today, Almada has ventured into hairstyling after completing a course at Sassoon Academy. She has made an investment in establishing her hairstyling career.
Octavia St. Laurent | Transgender Woman
Octavia St. Laurent was among the most prominent transgender personalities within the Black and Latino communities in New York. She began her career in 1982, working in New York’s ballroom scene. She gained prominence in 1990 when she became the central figure in the documentary Paris Is Burning, detailing New York’s ball culture. Banking on this success, she appeared in a minor role in The Saint of Fort Washington in 1993. On another note, she was featured again in two documentaries in 1993 and 2006. She also starred in films such as How Do I Look and Disclosure.
Aside from acting, she used her newfound fame to raise awareness about LGBT rights. She has poured out big loads of investments into her advocacies. She is one of the icons who championed equal rights for numerous members of the community. Throughout the years, her legacy in both entertainment and philanthropy continues to live on.
Our Lady J | Transgender Woman and Non-binary
Our Lady J has been quite accomplished as a musician and singer-songwriter. Born in Pennsylvania, Our Lady J pursued a career in being a classical pianist after graduating with a degree majoring in piano back in 1996. Initially, she started as a freelance pianist. She came out as trans in 2004 and became an accompanist for Broadway actress Natalie Joy Johnson. She found her big break in 2013 when she released her album titled Picture of a Man. Since then, she has performed in prestigious venues.
Aside from her piano career, she has also taken a knack for writing. She has been a writer and producer for the TV series Transparent and Pose. She has written and produced multiple episodes in the two critically-acclaimed series and has even acted in one episode for each series. Recently, she has been slated to write the pilot episode for a biopic series called Rub & Tug. She has since identified as non-binary via an Instagram post.
Parinya Charoenphol | Transgender Woman
Parinya Charoenphol, known as Nong Toom, is regarded as one of the most famous boxers in Thailand. She began her career in 1998 when she won a muay Thai match in Lumpini Boxing Stadium in Bangkok. Already, watchers and commentators were intrigued by her appearance as a kathoey— a Thai term often described as a transgender woman. At that time, kathoeys were often blocked from participating in sports competitions for fear of negative reception. However, the muay Thai world quickly embraced Nong Toom. She often found herself featured in magazines and appeared in music videos.
However, her kickboxing career was only made for one purpose: to save enough money to make an investment towards transition. Finally, she managed to transition to being a woman in 1999 via surgery. After her shift, she made a comeback in 2006, defeating a Japanese boxer. She has also challenged many more fighters, all of them won. Since then, she has focused on her boxing camp in Central Thailand.
Peppermint | Transgender Woman
Peppermint has been one of the most prominent personalities in New York’s drag scene. After moving to New York for work, she already transitioned to a woman and came out as a woman in 2012. She initially focused on her musical theatre degree at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. During this time, she became known within the city’s drag scene. However, she only became famous when she appeared in the ninth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. She became the first trans woman to have participated in the show before the season got aired instead of other contestants who transitioned later. At the end of the season, she finished in second after Sasha Velour.
Aside from her drag career, Peppermint also has a successful music career. She originally started out parodying popular songs during the late 2000s and early 2010s. In 2020, she released one of her extended plays, A Girl Like Me: Letters to My Lovers, to great reception. She has also ventured into acting, having made her debut on Broadway in 2018. She has also been outspoken about trans rights in New York.
Rae Spoon | Transgender Man and Non-binary
Rae Spoon has been a well-known performer and member of the LGBT community in Canada. Spoon first started their career back in 2001. They initially started as a country and roots singer. Their breakthrough album was in 2008 titled Superioryouareinferior. A break from their typical musical style, the album incorporated some electronic music and was well-received by critics. They subsequently incorporated electronic music into their future album. As of 2021, Spoon has released a total of 17 albums.
Aside from their music career, Spoon has also made investments in other fields. In 2012, they released a short book series called First Spring Grass Fire, to great reception. Spoon was featured in the 2013 movie My Prairie Home, which was accompanied by Spoon’s album of the same name. While Spoon initially identified as a trans man, they have identified as non-binary since.
Richards | Transgender Woman
A pioneer during her time, Renee Richards is regarded as one of the most famous transgender women in sports. Richards began to transition from male to female during the 1970s. She completed it in 1975. While she graduated with a medical degree, she first pursued her tennis career during the 1970s. However, she was prevented from joining the US Open in 1976. In response, she sued the US Tennis Association and won eventually. Her subsequent entry into the US Open was a landmark event, as it opened new opportunities for transgender people to participate in other sporting events. She became an advocate for transgender in sports.
During her tennis career, Richards saw modest success playing for singles and doubles. She achieved her highest ranking of 20 in 1979. Eventually, the star athlete retired from playing professionally in 1981. However, she coached legendary tennis player Martina Navratilova during her two wins at Wimbledon. She subsequently returned to her medical practice, becoming an ophthalmologist. She has mostly stayed out of the spotlight, with only occasional appearances related to honoring her status as one of the earliest transgender athletes.
Roberta Close | Transgender Woman
Roberta Close is slowly getting fame in Hollywood following her popularity in Brazil. She started as a transgender model who underwent reassignment in London before she posed for Brazilian men’s magazine Sexy. From then on, the celebrity gained stardom in the country and has even received the “Most Beautiful Woman in Brazil” recognition given by the magazine itself. In 1985, Close bagged her first major role in the film Si tu vas a Rio . . . tu muers. Close also became the first transgender model to pose for the Brazilian edition of men’s magazine Playboy, which is considered one of the greatest feats of the trans community. Before becoming an actress and model, she first enlisted herself in the military wearing a dress. However, her father, who was an officer in the Army, disowned her.
Close was married to Swiss businessman Roland Granacher in 1993. Her husband’s wealth is just enough to give her everything she needs to live a life without cash loans. However, Close knows she has to work on her dreams. She worked her way towards modeling and strutted her stuff for various brands such as Guy Laroche and Jean Paul Gaultier. She still accepts roles and projects both in Hollywood and in Brazil. Close and Granacher later separated after several years of marriage.
Sophia Lamar | Transgender Woman
Sophia Lamar is considered the nightlife queen. She is a transgender woman who is known as a party host, model, and performer. Lamar is a force in the downtown scene, with her expertise in the most rock-and-roll sports in the city. She has performed in San Francisco and New York and has been a former Club Kid member. Together with Michael Alig, they made Alig’s Disco 2000 club group famous in the city. Lamar is also known as a general curator of the 14th street of Manhattan, with the place as her playground for all her party hosting works and in music. She is also a recording artist in the Electroclash scene. Time and again, Lamar has proven the high degree of multiple talents she has through various endeavors. She is also a producer and a model of various sorts.
Before becoming a prominent figure in New York City, Lamar has been making waves in the Cuban underground scene before she emigrated in 1980 to chase her bigger dreams in The Big Apple.
Sylvia Rivera| Transgender Woman
Sylvia Rivera was a transgender rights activist who was known for her activist work within New York City. She identified herself as a drag queen who was a notable figure in many Gay Liberation Front demonstrations within the city, including the 1969 Stonewall Inn uprising. Rivera’s childhood was a traumatic experience. After losing her mother and was raised by her grandmother, she began experimenting on make-up and clothes, to which she was beaten in return. At 11, she ran away from home and experience exploitation in the city. When she met Marsha P. Johnson, another drag queen and activist, her perspective changed. Not to mention, it also opened an opportunity for her to pursue her cause. Her life circled advocating for gay liberation, homeless, and transgender rights. She does her advocacy activities while paying off her rent and electricity bills as a drag queen.
Even when she is no longer around, Rivera is still a notable figure in the gay community. The Sylvia Rivera Law Project is a cause that is named after her, which pushes for the freedom to self-determine their gender and expression, income, and race without the threat of violence, harassment, and discrimination.
Teddy Geiger| Transgender Woman
Teddy Geiger is a popular singer and songwriter who started her career in the early 2000s. During her teenage years, she made her debut album Underage Thinking under Columbia Records. It peaked at number eight on US top charts, giving her the right amount of attention to gain popularity in the music scene. Her second album, The Last Fears, also gained traction within the music industry, following her collaborators Holly Miranda, Levon Helm, A Great Big World, and John Ryan. Geiger was also able to write songs for Christina Aguilera, Shawn Mendes, and many other rising pop stars in Hollywood. The musician has been enjoying the peak of her career, making a big amount of money good for future investments, all from her talent and skills.
In 2017, while she was at the peak of her high-flying career, Geiger came out as a trans woman. She admitted that she has always known that she is a female as early as 5-years-old. She thought it was something many felt but later on realized that what she was feeling was different from others, prompting her to keep it to herself and feel ashamed. She kept her name Teddy but started using female pronouns soon after she came out. Her mother was the one who rushed in to comfort her and support her during her transition.
Terri Rogers| Transgender Woman
Terri Rogers is a transgender woman known for her magic tricks and talent in ventriloquy. Despite her childhood which was filled with isolation and suffering in Ipswich, she decided to break barriers and develop her talent in ventriloquy. She popularized her figure Short Harris which appeared during the 1950s in many music halls.
Rogers began her life as a man. In the 1960s, she decided to transition as a trans woman after getting inspiration from fellow ventriloquist Bobbie Kimber. She had her gender reassignment at National Health Service and has live with her female pronouns since then. Although the transition hampered her career for a time, it did not change the fact that she is one of the best ventriloquists in the world. She still made an appearance in high-end shows, including Theatre Royal Stratford East and in BBC TV’s Music Hall variety show, The Good Old Days. She has also toured around the country, from Las Vegas to Hollywood, to show off the degree of talent she has. Rogers was compared with other magicians and illusionists such as David Copperfield and Paul Daniels due to her ingenuity in magic skills.
Rogers has long been gone. However, she has left a legacy of inspiration not only for the people who are into ventriloquy but also for the LGBT community. What she left was a legacy for her community, giving them the motivation to excel in their careers no matter what the odds bring.
Thomas Beatie | Transgender Man
Thomas Beatie is a public speaker, author, and transgender rights advocate. He focuses his advocacy on transgender fertility and reproductive rights. Assigned female at birth, Beatie came out in 1997 as a trans man and underwent gender reassignment in 2002. In 2007, Beatie gained international fame when he became the first-ever man to become pregnant. Dubbed as the Pregnant Man, he decided to get pregnant and underwent artificial insemination in 2007 following the news that her wife Nancy was infertile. Beatie was able to give birth to four children inside their marriage. However, Beatie and his wife sought help from their lawyers after their filed for legal separation in 2012. The couple was once again in the news after their separation case is recorded as the first of its kind, where the court challenged the marriage where the husband was the one who gave birth.
Following the end of his marriage, Beatie began getting active in LGBT community campaigns. He was a former chair for the Civil Unions-Civil Rights Movement in Honolulu, Hawaii, and has helped in the organization of the March of Equality. He is also the author behind the best-selling book Labor of Love: The Story of One Man’s Extraordinary Pregnancy, which was released in 2008.
Trace Lysette | Transgender Woman
Trace Lysette is an actress and a recording artist. Lysette appeared in the feature film Hustlers as Tracy alongside Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez. Her breakthrough role Shea in the TV series Transparent in 2014. She played an entertainment worker who was the best pal of Maura Pfefferman, played by Jeffrey Tambor. She made outstanding acting as her friend-to-lean on by Pfefferman, who was newly out. During this time, one of the most historic trans moments in show business happened when Shea had a relationship with a heterosexual male. It was also through the role that Lysette came out publicly as a transwoman. While making a name for herself and making wise money management decisions out of her salary as an actress, Lysette became a prominent figure in the advocacy of LGBT rights in Hollywood.
Lysette’s contribution to the acting industry as a trans woman was recognized in the 50th Anniversary of the first LGBTQ Pride Parade. Queerty named her as one of the 50 heroes of the LGBT community for leading the nation towards equality, acceptance, and dignity. She also took on the work as executive producer of Trans in Trumpland, a docu-series about transgenders during the administration of Donald Trump.
Tracey “Africa” Norman| Transgender Woman
Tracey Africa is a renowned fashion model who broke all barriers to reach her dreams. She is the first African-American trans woman to become a model and achieve the highest feats a model can achieve in the fashion industry. The New Jersey native has posed for various fashion magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar India, and Essence, among others.
She started her work in the mid -1970s, after being handpicked by Irving Penn from Italian Vogue. Soon after, Africa began accepting endorsement deals with various top brands, including Avon skincare as their brand ambassador and for Clairol’s Born Beautiful hair color boxes. This gave her not only fame but also fortune to pay her money loans and save for herself. In an interview, Africa said that she always felt that she was a female who was in the wrong body. She was afraid to come out due to her family problems and was afraid of rejection. It was only during her high school years that she was abler to come out as a transgender woman. She first took pills and then hormones from a doctor she met. Africa also began going to trans clubs and meeting other people in her community.
Veronique Renard| Transgender Woman
Veronique Renard is a Dutch author and visual artist who works by the name Pantau. She adopted the name after meeting the Dalai Lama in India in 2000. The name meant “to be helpful,” which has served as her anchor in making great contributions for other people through her work. Renard is a transgender woman who made the transition in 1982 at age 17. Unlike other transgender women and men, Renard is fortunate to have had the support of her family and friends. After working in the corporate world for many years, Renard moved to the Indian Himalayas and dedicated her time and work to helping the Tibetan community. She wrote about the people of Tibet and its rich culture, hoping to create more awareness about the community on a global platform.
With a little investment money on the side, Renard put up the Pantau Foundation to raise funds for Tibetan refugee children in exile in India. The foundation has gathered many prominent people to help the children, including New-York based friends John Parker and Sebastian Bond.
Wachowski Sisters | Transgender Women
The Wachowski Sisters are made up of Lana and Lilly Wachowski. They are known in Hollywood as film directors, gamers, and writers who have been in the industry for many years already.
They are the great minds behind the scripts of Assassins and Bound. One of their greatest film writing achievements was the completion of The Matrix franchise, which has catapulted their career in writing and gave them fat bank accounts. The duo has made great investment planning for their fortune. Together, they put up EON Entertainment which coordinated their partners for the making of the movies The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, The Animatrix, and Enter the Matrix. Aside from writing screenplays, the Wachowski sisters are also a hit in the gaming world.
The first to make the transition is Lana, who started in the 2000s. She completed her transition in 2008, following the release of Speed Racer. In 2016, Lilly issued a statement to Windy City Times confirming her transition as well.
Wendy Carlos| Transgender Woman
In the music industry, one of the leading transgender movers and shakers is Wendy Carlos. She rose to popularity for her electronic music and film scores during the 1960s through Johann Sebastian’s album Switch-On Bach where she showcased her Moog synthesizer. She was the one who helped in popularizing the use of the instrument, giving her three Grammy awards for her excellent performances. She also composed the score for A Clockwork Orange in 1971 and The Shining in 1980, both films by Stanley Kubrick. Before becoming a renewed musician, Carlos finished a degree in music composition at Columbia University. After graduation, she began working with various musicians and singers in New York City. Aside from being a musician, Carlos is also an accomplished photographer with a focus on the solar eclipse. Her work has been published by NASA several times.
During her high-flying career in the music industry, Carlos braved the odds and came out as a transgender woman. She admitted that she has been living as a woman since 1968, but it was only in 1972 when she began her reassignment surgery.
Wilmer “Little Ax” Broadnax| Transgender Man
Willmer Broadnax, also known as Little Axe, is a hard gospel quarter singer. Described as a tiny man with a powerful voice, he has helped the Spirit of Memphis Quarter become one of the most influential gospel groups until today.
Before joining the group, Broadnax was part of the Southern Gospel Singer and the Golden Echoes, which was his group alongside his other brothers. Broadnax then moved to Atlanta and joined Five Trumpets. He also became a member of Fairfield Four and Five Bling Boys of Mississippi. In 1965 during the peak of his career, he headed the quartered Little Axe and the Golden Echoes and released singles by Peacock Records which credit was under his name.
Broadnax had been in a relationship, but it was marred by jealously. He faced his demise during a car altercation with his lover. It was only after Broadnax’s demise that he was found out to be a transman, stirring controversies in his gospel community. He proved that his sexuality never got in the way of his beliefs.
Zackary Drucker| Transgender Woman
Zackary Drucker is a transgender woman who is known for her work as a multimedia artist and cultural producer. She is also an actress and a producer, with her docu-series This Is Me as a nominee for the Emmy Awards. Drucker’s work also involved consultancy, including the TV series Transparent. In the trans community, Drucker advocates for gender and sexuality rights. She believes in preserving trans history and makes it an opportunity to ignite political discussion. Drucker’s work credit has been shown in film festivals, museums, and galleries, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, San Francisco Museum of Modern art, and Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.
Her latest works include collaboration with Laverne Cox, Kim Boekbinder, and others for a transgender history and resistance video entitled Time Marches Forward & So Do We. She is also part of HBO’s The Lady and the Dale as director and executive producer.