How to Connect with the Most Inspiring Transgender Celebs


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We all know and admire popular figures like Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner, who are telling everyone that being transgender is wonderful and living your happiest life matters. But there are also other transgender celebrities gaining attention, making it easier for more LGBTQ+ people to be in the spotlight of today’s entertainment industry.

Now, let’s check out some amazing and successful transgender celebrities in Hollywood right now.

Laverne Cox

One of the most famous transgender celebrities in Hollywood today is Laverne Cox. Her standout performance as Sophia Burset in the widely loved Netflix show Orange is the New Black not only made her a star but also had a lasting impact on how people perceive transgender individuals.

Laverne Cox isn’t just celebrated for her acting skills; she is also a dedicated activist. She works hard to promote diversity and inclusion for fellow transgender actors and serves as a spokesperson for encouraging body positivity.

The Wachowski Sisters

This dynamic pair, known for creating the hugely successful Matrix movie series, gained fame before publicly sharing that they are both transgender women. While they are usually private individuals, Lana Wachowski made a noteworthy exception by speaking at the Human Rights Campaign’s annual dinner.

Lana Wachowski expressed, “I’m here because when I was young, I really wanted to be a writer and filmmaker. However, I couldn’t find anyone like me in the world. It seemed like my dreams were limited just because my gender was different. If I can be that role model for someone else, then sharing my private life publicly might be worthwhile.”

Jazz Jennings

Jazz Jennings, one of the youngest celebrities on our list, has become well-known as a popular YouTube personality. After gaining popularity on the social media platform, she started appearing on the TLC reality TV show “I Am Jazz,” where she shares her journey and experiences as a transgender teenager.

In addition to raising awareness about transgender issues among a new generation, Jazz Jennings has also founded two charitable organizations to support the LGBTQ+ community: the Trans Kids Purple Rainbow Foundation and Purple Rainbow Tails.

Balian Buschbaum

Balian Buschbaum initially gained fame as a highly skilled pole vaulter, proudly representing Germany in the Olympics. Following a tremendously successful athletic career, he retired in 2007 and publicly revealed that he is a transgender man.

Capturing hearts worldwide with his unique personality and athletic skills, Buschbaum has remained in the public spotlight by appearing on shows like the German version of Dancing With the Stars. This has allowed him to connect with a new generation of fans and a broader audience.

Caitlyn Jenner

Certainly, one of the most prominent figures in the transgender celebrity community is Caitlyn Jenner. Initially gaining fame as a celebrated Olympic athlete, Jenner later starred alongside her family in the iconic reality TV show Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

Jenner has openly shared her gender journey, unveiling her new name and identity in a widely recognized cover story for Vanity Fair in 2015. This move brought transgender rights into the spotlight of the entertainment media.

Caroline Cossey

British model and actress Caroline Cossey gained fame as a Bond girl in the 1981 movie For Your Eyes Only. Unfortunately, as her popularity grew, she faced a distressing situation when the UK tabloid The News of the World publicly revealed her transgender identity without her consent. How terrible!

Fortunately, Cossey didn’t let the invasion of her privacy deter her from achieving greater success. In fact, she made history by becoming the first transgender woman to be featured in Playboy magazine.

Alex Blue Davis

Alex Blue Davis is a fantastic example of a highly skilled transgender actor portraying a trans character on screen. His role as trans intern Casey on the widely popular medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy earned him fame and admiration worldwide. He has continued to showcase his talent with appearances in other shows like NCIS and Two Broke Girls.

“I’m grateful I get to be a part of changing the television landscape,” he expressed to The Jacket Journal. “And making it more inclusive so everyone can see themselves in the shows they love.”

Candis Cayne

Candis Cayne holds a significant place in the history of trans visibility in mainstream entertainment and TV. She achieved a groundbreaking milestone by becoming the first transgender actress to portray a recurring transgender character on primetime TV. This happened when she took on the role of Carmelita Rainer in ABC’s widely popular drama series Dirty Sexy Money.

“I feel honored that I was able to take on this role,” she expressed to Chicago Pride. “And that it went off so well to help the community and push it forward.”

Chaz Bono

Chaz Bono has been in the public eye since childhood, growing up with his widely known parents, Sonny Bono and Cher, in the entertainment industry. When he later came out as a transgender man, the showbiz world welcomed a new LGBTQ+ community member. Bono shared his journey in the emotional documentary “Becoming Chaz,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011.

Chaz Bono has leveraged his status as a transgender celebrity to advocate for his community. He has served as a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign and has actively worked for GLAAD, using his platform to raise awareness and promote understanding of transgender issues.

Janet Mock

Before publicly coming out as transgender, Janet Mock was already a highly successful and well-known figure in the entertainment industry. She had worked for many years as the staff editor for the iconic People magazine. In 2011, Mock publicly revealed her identity as a transgender woman through an exclusive and candid article in Marie Claire magazine.

Since sharing her journey with the public, Janet Mock has become a prominent advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. She released a bestselling memoir titled “Redefining Realness,” where she candidly recounts her experiences. Mock’s efforts extend beyond her personal story, as she actively works to promote understanding and inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ community.

Jenna Talackova

Canadian model Jenna Talackova made headlines and history by refusing to let her gender identity be dismissed. In 2012, she participated in the Miss Universe Canada competition but was initially disqualified for being transgender. Talackova didn’t accept this decision quietly and engaged in a lengthy and widely publicized legal battle with the pageant organizers—and she emerged victorious! After successfully reentering the pageant, she went on to win Miss Congeniality, becoming an inspiring figure in the process.

In the same year, Jenna Talackova was named co-grand marshal of the 2012 Vancouver Pride Parade, further solidifying her role as a visible and influential figure in the LGBTQ+ community.

Isis King

Indeed, Isis King made history in the realm of trans rights and visibility in showbiz. She gained fame as a contestant on the renowned modeling reality TV show America’s Next Top Model, hosted by fashion icon Tyra Banks.

Isis King not only became one of the most popular contestants on America’s Next Top Model, but she also made history as the first transgender woman to compete on the show. Her presence raised visibility for transgender individuals in a positive and inspiring way, leaving a lasting impact on the show and its viewers.

Carmen Carrera

Carmen Carrera gained fame as a vibrant reality TV star, actress, model, and burlesque performer. Known for her appearances on high-profile shows like Real Housewives of New York City and RuPaul’s Drag Race, Carrera made a surprising announcement during her time on Drag Race. She revealed that she was not a man in drag but, in fact, a transgender woman.

Carmen Carrera’s public announcement of her gender identity served as a significant encouragement for transgender women worldwide to speak their truth and pursue their dreams. Her visibility and openness became a powerful source of inspiration for others in the trans community.

Ian Harvie

The funny and talented comedian Ian Harvie publicly came out as a transgender man when he was 32. Since then, he has become one of the most popular and successful performers on the comedy circuit. In addition to keeping audiences in stitches with his own comedy, Harvie is notably recognized for his comedic collaborations with Margaret Cho.

Over the years, Ian Harvie and Margaret Cho have toured together extensively, and their collaboration has been so successful that Harvie became a permanent member of her off-Broadway revue. Their partnership has not only entertained audiences but has also contributed to the broader visibility and acceptance of transgender individuals in the world of comedy.

Tracey Norman

Today, it’s shocking to learn about the experiences of model Tracey Norman, but sadly, back in the 70s, the transgender community frequently encountered public discrimination. During that time, Norman was a featured model for the Clairol hair brand but was removed from the campaign when it became known that she was transgender. This incident reflects the challenges and prejudices that transgender individuals faced in society during that era.

Undeterred by the setback, Tracey Norman didn’t let this stop her from building a successful career as both a model and LGBTQ+ activist. Her resilience and determination allowed her to continue making a significant impact in both the fashion industry and the advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights.

Aydian Dowling

Aydian Dowling made history by challenging stereotypes and representing trans men in a groundbreaking way. He participated in the “Ultimate Guy” competition for Men’s Health magazine, highlighting the diversity of manhood and masculinity. Dowling’s involvement in the contest challenged internalized stereotypes and opened up conversations about the broader and more inclusive understanding of what it means to be a man.

Today, Aydian Dowling runs his own men’s clothing line, and a portion of the proceeds is dedicated to supporting the transgender community. Through his business, Dowling contributes to initiatives that aid and uplift the trans community, showcasing his commitment to making a positive impact beyond his personal achievements.

Renee Richards

Renee Richards is a transgender woman who made history and paved the way for others by challenging the norms in sports. Despite rising to fame as a player in the male division of the United States Tennis Division, she fought vigorously for the right to compete in the women’s division after coming out as a transgender woman in the 70s. Her advocacy and determination played a crucial role in reshaping the rules and attitudes towards transgender athletes in sports.

After taking the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to court, and even going as far as the Supreme Court, Renee Richards won her case. This landmark decision allowed her to compete in the 1977 U.S. Open in the women’s division, marking a significant victory for transgender athletes and their right to participate in sports according to their gender identity.

Jamie Clayton

What’s truly inspiring is not just witnessing the triumphs of trans celebrities who have overcome challenges to become the stars they were meant to be but also seeing how their success opens doors for others. Actress Jamie Clayton, who portrays a trans character on Sense8, is a shining example of this. Her mega success not only showcases her talent but also contributes to paving the way for more inclusion and representation in the entertainment industry for trans individuals.

Jamie Clayton gained recognition for her work with the Wachowski sisters, who understand the unique challenges and experiences of being a trans woman navigating the entertainment industry. Through her collaboration with the Wachowskis, Clayton has contributed to breaking barriers and increasing visibility for trans individuals in the world of entertainment.

Fallon Fox

Fallon Fox is a notable trans woman who has made her mark in the mixed martial arts (MMA) competitive scene. Despite facing significant opposition and challenges, particularly in competing against cisgender female athletes, Fox has not let it deter her from pursuing success in her MMA career. Her resilience and determination have helped challenge preconceptions and open up discussions about inclusivity and acceptance of transgender athletes in sports.

“I’m a transgender woman,” she passionately wrote in an op-ed for Bloody Elbow. “I deserve equal treatment and respect, just like any other woman.” In expressing this sentiment, Fallon Fox highlights the importance of recognizing and respecting the rights and dignity of transgender women in sports and society.

Alexandra Billings

Alexandra Billings, a successful transgender actress, gained prominence in 2005 with “Romy and Michele: In the Beginning.” She has since starred in acclaimed shows like “Transparent,” “ER,” “Eli Stone,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” contributing to increased representation for transgender individuals in mainstream media.

In acknowledgment of her efforts to increase visibility and normalize the presence of transgender individuals in the entertainment industry, Alexandra Billings received the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award in 2016.

Elliot Fletcher

Unlike some transgender celebrities who face unwanted outings by the media or online platforms invading their privacy, many choose to share their sensitive and inspiring journeys themselves. Actor and musician Elliot Fletcher fall into the latter category, openly discussing his trans identity and expressing a desire to be as candid as possible about his experiences.

“I happily tell people because my goal in life is not only to become a successful musician but also a trans advocate,” Elliot Fletcher shared with the New York Times. “I have so much love for my trans family, and I want to spread that love as much as I can.” Fletcher’s openness about his identity aligns with his commitment to advocacy, aiming to foster understanding and support within the transgender community and beyond.

Hari Nef

Hari Nef, an actress, model, and writer, achieved a historic milestone in 2016 as the first transgender model to appear on the cover of a British fashion magazine, featured in one of Elle’s special collectors’ editions. Additionally, she made history as the first trans woman to be signed to the international modeling agency IMG Models. Her groundbreaking achievements have contributed to increased representation and acceptance of transgender individuals in the fashion industry.

“Being a woman is an option, being trans is an option, and they’re options that appeal to me,” Hari Nef emphasized in an interview with Vogue. Her words underscore the importance of understanding and embracing individual experiences beyond labels and semantics, emphasizing the need to listen to people for who they are rather than categorizing them.

Andreja Pejic

“Being a woman is an option, being trans is an option, and they’re options that appeal to me,” Hari Nef emphasized in an interview with Vogue. Her words underscore the importance of understanding and embracing individual experiences beyond labels and semantics, emphasizing the need to listen to people for who they are rather than categorizing them.

Since coming out as a transgender woman in 2014, Hari Nef made history by becoming the first trans model ever to be featured in Vogue magazine, marking a significant moment for transgender representation in the fashion industry.

Candy Darling

Candy Darling gained worldwide fame in the 1970s as one of the Warhol Superstars, a select group of glamorous muses for the iconic pop artist Andy Warhol. She starred in Warhol’s films “Flesh” and “Women in Revolt” and served as a muse for glam rock icons The Velvet Underground. Her presence and contributions left an indelible mark on the vibrant cultural scene of that era.

Candy Darling may have passed away in 1974, but her enduring legacy continues. In 2010, a feature-length documentary about her life titled “Beautiful Darling” was released, receiving critical acclaim. The film serves as a testament to her impact and influence on the cultural landscape, ensuring that her story and contributions are remembered and celebrated.

Christine Jorgensen

Christine Jorgensen made history in 1952 as the first American to undergo a full gender transition, a process then known as sex reassignment surgery. Her gender identity journey was featured in a cover story by the New York Daily News that year, catapulting her to instant fame. Jorgensen’s openness about her experience contributed to a broader understanding of transgender issues and paved the way for greater visibility of the transgender community.

Capitalizing on her newfound celebrity status, Christine Jorgensen used her platform to raise awareness of transgender issues. She became an activist and lecturer, leveraging her visibility to contribute to a better understanding of transgender experiences. In addition to her advocacy work, she continued to excel as an entertainer, showcasing her talents and breaking barriers in various fields.

Valentina Sampaio

Brazilian model and actress Valentina Sampaio is a true trailblazer for the transgender community in the fashion industry.

Valentina Sampaio has made history not once, but three times! In 2017, she became the first transgender woman to grace the cover of Vogue Paris. In 2019, Sampaio made headlines again as the first openly transgender person to model for Victoria’s Secret. In 2020, she achieved another milestone by being the first openly transgender model to feature in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, expressing her excitement and honor to be a part of it. Her achievements mark significant strides in breaking barriers for transgender individuals in the fashion industry.

Hunter Schafer

Model, actress, and activist Hunter Schafer is widely recognized as one of the most prominent and globally adored trans celebrities today. She gained widespread acclaim for her role in HBO’s Euphoria. Prior to her acting career, Schafer made a significant impact in the fashion world, featuring in numerous high-profile campaigns for brands such as Dior, Miu Miu, Calvin Klein, Rick Owens, Helmut Lang, Tommy Hilfiger, Coach, Maison Margiela, Vera Wang, and Marc Jacobs. Her success and visibility contribute to the growing representation of trans individuals in both the entertainment and fashion industries.

Hunter Schafer has consistently been open about her gender identity, expressing in an interview with North Carolina public radio, “I do like people to know that I’m not a cis girl because that’s not something that I am or feel like I am. I’m proud to be a trans person.” Schafer’s candidness contributes to fostering understanding and acceptance, inspiring others to embrace their authentic selves.

Zeke Smith

Survivor star Zeke Smith, a beloved figure in the American public for two seasons, had his gender identity involuntarily disclosed. Fellow contestant Jeff Varner outed Smith during the show, revealing personal information without Smith’s consent. This event sparked important conversations about privacy, consent, and the treatment of transgender individuals in the public eye.

Zeke Smith later shared his experience and resilience in a moving piece for The Hollywood Reporter. Reflecting on the situation, he wrote, “To adventure is to invite hazard into your life. But you cannot control the hazards you face, be they repeated misfortune or the harmful actions of others. You can only control how you respond.” Smith’s response highlighted his strength and determination to navigate challenges with grace and authenticity.

Trace Lysette

Trace Lysette is a Hollywood star who had already established a successful career in showbiz before publicly coming out as transgender. Her debut TV appearance as Lila in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit marked a historic moment in 2013, as she became one of the first trans individuals to appear in a non-trans speaking role on primetime television. Lysette’s contributions have played a role in increasing visibility and representation for transgender actors in mainstream media.

Trace Lysette publicly came out as transgender in 2014, coinciding with her starring role as trans yoga teacher Shea on the Amazon series Transparent. Since then, she has risen to become one of Hollywood’s celebrated stars. Her visibility and success contribute to the ongoing progress and acceptance of transgender individuals in the entertainment industry.

Lea T.

Model and activist Lea T. had already made a name for herself in both the fashion world and LGBTQ+ advocacy before achieving a significant milestone in 2014. She was named the face of Redken cosmetics, becoming the first openly transgender model to lead a major global cosmetics brand campaign. Lea T.’s groundbreaking role in the campaign symbolizes a positive shift towards increased visibility and acceptance of transgender individuals in the beauty and fashion industries.

“I love working with Redken because they appreciate all kinds of beauty,” Lea T. shared with Harper’s Bazaar. “They believe in the individuality of the person, and I think that’s really important.” Her collaboration with Redken not only marked a personal achievement but also reflected the brand’s commitment to celebrating diversity and individuality in beauty.

Conclusion

In conclusion, connecting with the most inspiring transgender celebrities involves recognizing and celebrating their achievements, resilience, and contributions across various fields. By staying informed about their stories, understanding their journeys, and acknowledging their impact, individuals can foster a greater sense of empathy, inclusion, and appreciation for the diverse experiences within the transgender community. Engaging with their work, advocating for representation, and supporting initiatives that promote equality contribute to building a more inclusive and understanding society for everyone.


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