There is no doubt that we now live in a world that is different than what it was a couple of decades ago. We cannot deny that some things have changed for the worse. For one thing, we are seeing the effects of global warming at unprecedented rates. On the bright side, however, it feels like society at large has become more accepting of different identities as well. Transgender celebrities are now making names for themselves in different industries out there, and we can’t be happier about it. Many famous people are finally embracing who they really are. These folks are making the LGBTQ community proud!
ASIA KATE DILLON
Not only does Asia Kate Dillon identify as transgender, but they are also nonbinary. They made history as the first transgender and nonbinary star to take on a big role in a significant production. By bringing Taylor Mason to life in Billions, they received a nomination for the Critic’s Choice Awards. They also appeared in John Wick: Chapter 3. We can’t wait to see what they get up to next.
For the longest time, Billy Tipton had no choice but to live a double life. Not many people knew that he was assigned female at birth. He went on to live his truth in the early ‘30s and made a name for himself as one of the greatest musicians in the jazz genre. Back then, it was difficult for a woman to join a jazz band. This was part of his motivations as well. In the end, the truth only came out upon his death.
In 1981, Caroline Cossey scored a small role in For Your Eyes Only. In an unfortunate turn of events, the press found out that she was transgender and outed her. No one deserves this, but we are glad that she came out of it strong. She fought for transgender representation and rights in the United Kingdom. It is worth checking out the two books that she wrote: “I Am A Woman” and “My Story.”
The truth is that it is not easy for transgender folks to make it big in sports. After all, sports continue to be split between the male and female categories. The situation is starting to change, and part of this can be credited to Chris Mosier. He competed in the Duathlon Age Group World Championship Race and other events after an appeal to the International Olympic Committee. It has paved the way for others in the community.
In the ‘50s, Christine Jorgensen made his tory as the first person to get gender confirmation surgery. The Second World War veteran identified as a woman after the end of the conflict. It is only natural for her to fight for transgender rights. Along the way, she got more recognition as an actress. She continues to be an icon as far as we are concerned.
As you already know, it is not easy for transgender athletes to compete in the world of sports. This was also true for Fallon Fox. She was insecure about her gender identity most of her life. While she is now retired, there had been a big debate about her right to compete with female MMA athletes in the past.
The first transgender person to grace the cover of any British magazine is none other than Hari Nef. The model-actress is busy trying to advocate for the transgender community. Did you know that she is also a writer? A lot of people know her best from her appearance in Assassination Nation and Transparent, however.
There is a good chance that you recognize Hunter Schafer thanks to her role on Euphoria. She was in an on-screen relationship with Zendaya in the TV show. It is neat to hear that she had a role in the creation of her character as well. In the past, she has also modeled for Coach and Tommy Hilfiger.
Perhaps you remember Jamie Clayton for bringing Nomi Mark to life in Sense8. How cool is it that the role was the first female transgender character created by real transgender writers? The show might have gotten the ax, but the actress continued to land one role after another. You might even remember seeing her in Designated Survivor and The Neon Demon.
Did you watch Jesse on Disney Channel? If so, you might already know who Josie Totah is. The actress was also in a 2016 movie called Other People. She only came out as transgender a few years ago. When it comes to recent projects, she was cast to star in Saved by the Bell.
During his time as a student at George Washington University, Kye Allums was a player on the women’s basketball team. After coming out of the closet, he was made to leave the sports team. He went on to be a public speaker after he graduated. These days, he travels across the country to encourage people to be true to who they are. On top of that, he is working to put an end to the bullying of transgenders.
LANA WACHOWSKI AND LILLY WACHOWSKI
While many folks used to call them the “Wachowski brothers,” Lana and Lilly have since come out as transgender. They are best known as the folks behind The Matrix saga. There is no doubt that they are both very talented. Over the years, they have also worked on Sense8, Cloud Atlas, Jupiter Ascending, Speed Racer, and more.
Well, Laverne Cox must be the most famous celebrity we have on this list. Fans of Orange Is the New Black on Netflix will know who she is, but who doesn’t? She made history as the first trans person to receive an Emmy acting nomination. Aside from that, she also became the first trans actress to land a leading part on a major network. This happened for a CBS show called Doubt.
LAURA JANE GRACE
When it comes to the world of punk rock, Laura Jane Grace has made a splash as one of the few openly trans singers in the genre. She is a member of Against Me! Despite this, she did not come out after a few years after joining the band. In 2014, the musical act released the album “Transgender Dysphoria Blues.”
There are not many transgender roles in Hollywood, but it is even worse when they do not go to actual trans people. MJ Rodriguez, fortunately, brought her A-game when she was cast in Pose on FX. Her character has HIV as well. In the past, she has done stage acting and received praise for it.
BRIAN MICHAEL SMITH
You might be familiar with Brian Michael Smith for appearing in Queen Sugar on Oprah Winfrey’s Network. The actor has previously appeared in TV shows like Blue Bloods and Gossip Girl. The issue is that he played the role of the cis straight man in these projects. In 2017, he revealed that he was transgender and opened up the difficulties he went through in the past.
Also called “Left at London,” Nat Puff is not just a social media influencer but also a singer-songwriter. You might know her from her old Vines. In the old social media platform, she liked to parody her fellow artists. She is a talented performer in her own right with albums like “Transgender Street Legend.”
On the internet, Natalie Wynn goes by ContraPoints. Her videos are mainly dedicated to the rebuttal of rightwing videos on YouTube. Not only does she talk about political issues, but she likes to share her talent for costume design and production as well. Her fans adore her for her skills, politics, and activism.
NIKKIE DE JAGER
We bet that you know Nikkie de Jager as “NikkieTutorials” instead of her real name. This social media influencer is followed by millions of people on YouTube and other platforms. In early 2020, she said that she was transgender. It happened years after fans began to speculate about her gender identity. After that, she was featured on The Ellen Show and hosted “Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light.”
Hailing from Bosnia-Herzegovina, it is not a stretch to call Andreja Pejić one of the loveliest people in the world. She has graced the covers of magazines like GQ and Marie Claire and even made history as the first trans model to collaborate with Vogue. She has also modeled clothes for men and women alike. In 2018, she tried her hand at acting in a movie called The Girl in the Spider’s Web.
It feels like the whole world heard about Caitlyn Jenner coming out. The former Olympic athlete is best known as the spouse of Kris Jenner. As reality TV stars, it was a rather public transition. Thanks to her courage, she inspired others and received accolades like the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs.
Before making it big in the acting industry, Candis Cayne used to be a drag queen back in the ‘90s. She went on to work in the film and TV industry. She even had a few special appearances with the famous RuPaul. Aside from that, she has been in
Dirty Sexy Money and Grey’s Anatomy.
What do you get when you combine Sonny Bono and Cher? The answer is Chaz Bono, who had to get used to the spotlight since he was young as the child of famous parents. At first, he identified as lesbian. In the late 2000s, however, he came out as trans. He has since been fighting for the rights of the LGBTQ community. In 2011, he also released a documentary of his own.
She definitely chose the right name because she truly is gorgeous. Gigi was among the first makeup artists who struck gold in YouTube during the late ‘00s. At first, she identified as gay. In 2013, however, she started her transition and underwent even more procedures. Not that long ago, she tied the knot with Nats Getty.
Thanks to her age, Jazz Jennings has earned a legion of followers. She was five years old when she received a diagnosis of gender dysphoria. After that, she started her transition. This young activist has made an appearance on a few OWN shows to discuss what the experience had been like for her. Aside from that, she promotes charities and organizations that aim to help transgender children.
For quite some time now, Elliot Page has been a big Hollywood star. In 2020, he came out as trans and received plenty of support. He thanked everyone for the support that he has received. He said, “I feel overwhelming gratitude for the incredible people who have supported me along this journey. I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self.”
Do you recall Isis King from his time on America’s Next Top Model? She made history on the show as its first transgender contestant. Her story has inspired a lot of people! She was such a hit that she went on to be in the All-Star season. After this, she chose to keep working in the world of show biz.
There is no lack of lovely folks on this list. Valentina Sampaio, you can say, has always been a trailblazer. For one thing, she became the first trans model to be in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Likewise, she was also the first trans Victoria’s Secret model. The LGBTQ+ community is lucky to have her!
For a lot of us, Zach Barack is most remarkable for his role in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Did you know that he is the first openly trans actor to work on a Marvel flick? “And as a young person who is trans, I didn’t see a trans man on TV ever, ever, really, until I was like, 17,” he explained. “So having a fun movie about a class going on a trip together, and I get to be part of that, I can’t even.”
We have one more star from Pose. She said that the show changed her life! Indya Moore has talked about the issues that she has faced over the years. In 2019, she shared that she got trafficked as she tried to pay for hormones. She made history as the first transwoman to grace the cover of Elle.
MICHAEL D. COHEN
In case you did not know, Michael D. Cohen voiced Schwoz Schwartz on Henry Danger. In 2019, he came out as trans. His transition took place a long time before he made it big. On the topic, he explained, “The level of — let’s be polite — misunderstanding around trans issues is so profound and so destructive. When you disempower one population, you disempower everybody.”
It has been a while since Nathan Westling first joined the fashion world. Over the years, he has worked with Miu Miu, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Marc Jobs. In 2019, he shared that he started to transition by taking hormones. He also said that it felt like he had been wearing a mask before this! Good for him.
In 2017, Teddy Geiger let the world know that she identified as transgender. She got to talk about it some more the year after that. “At a certain point, I realized that I was born uncomfortable. I was born in this in-between where I want to express one way,” she admitted. “Nobody really knew me, and all of this stuff that now on a day to day basis I don’t have to deal with. It is a huge weight lifted.”
In the transgender community, Kim Petras is known as the youngest person to get gender confirmation surgery. At the time, she had only been 16 years old! When she saw success with her music career, she was considered a legend by a lot of people. Her music talks about a lot of different things, so we are not surprised to hear that she has such a huge fan following. If you ask us, she deserves this and more!
You might already know that Janet Mock is an activist and author, but she was also the first trans woman of color that got hired to write for Pose. On top of that, she also got to direct episode six of season one. She and Ryan Murphy worked on Hollywood and The Politician too.
Ricardo Tisci discovered Lea T when he was the senior designer at Givenchy. The Brazilian model went on to be his muse. They were so close that the “T” in her stage name is an ode to him. When he worked at Burberry, so did she. In 2014, she became the first trans model to land a contract with Redken.
In 2013, Ines Rau and Tyson Beckford worked on a spread for OOB together. This took place almost as soon as she revealed that she was transgender. This model did not stop there. She also appeared in Playboy in the same year and then again in 2017. She was the first transwoman to do such a thing.
In 2012, Jenna Talackova joined the Miss Universe Canada contest. Sadly, she got disqualified once her transgender identity was outed. It was a good thing that Gloria Allred helped her challenge this. In the end, she was allowed to keep competing. She was dubbed Miss Congeniality and made it to the Top 12.
In 2002, Ian Harvie kicked off his comedy career. Margaret Cho was his mentor. This is how he went on to join her off-Broadway on a permanent basis. He now runs a show of his own called Parts Sold Separately. When he appeared in Transparent, he became the first transman to portray a transman on the small screen.
ALEX BLUE DAVIS
Do you recall Alex Blue Davis from his days on NCIS and 2 Broke Girls? He has since earned even more recognition for playing an openly trans intern called Dr. Casey Parker in Grey’s Anatomy. In an episode, he said this in character: “I’m a proud trans man, Dr. Bailey. I like for people to get to know me before they find out my medical history.” What a great line!
If you watched Shameless and The Fosters, then you have definitely seen Elliot Fletcher before. His first trans role was for Faking It in 2016. He once said, “I happily tell people [that I’m trans] because my goal in life is not only to become a successful musician but also, a trans advocate. I have so much love for my trans family and I want to spread that love as much as I can.”
Her Story is the Emmy-nominated web series of Jen Richards. She both produces it and plays a character called Violet. Aside from this, she was also in Nashville, Tales of the City, and better Things. Like plenty of other people out there, she is also an activist who advocates for the LGBTQ+ community. She also made the Trans 100 to pay tribute to others.
In Transparent, Alexandra Billings played Davina. If you have not seen the show yet, it is worth the watch! This was not her first rodeo as she got to play a transgender character in Romy and Michele: In The Beginning as well! She was also in a number of other TV shows.
Transparent alumna Trace Lysette also made it to the list. On the show, she brought Shea to life. She was also in Hustlers. In the end, she had to leave the show after a disagreement with a co-star of hers. She went on to appear in Pose like others on the list. We have seen a lot of amazing people on this list. While it is an ongoing battle for equality, we hope that this showed you that they deserve respect just like anyone else in the world. This is not just true for the talented ones either! Let us remember that a little human decency and kindness can go a long way.