10 transgender celebrities who prove the importance of personal choice
The topic of transgender has always been controversial and divisive. But whether you are for or against it, you cannot deny the fact that transgender people are accomplishing so much in the different industries that we have today. From acting on-screen to establishing fashion lines and setting up successful business empires, we see a good number of trans people achieving great things.
So, let’s check out some of the world’s most favorite transgender people and the reasons why they are highly loved!
1. CAITLYN JENNER
Caitlyn Jenner (born William Bruce Jenner) is an American TV personality, a retired Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete who famously featured on the Wheaties box in the 1970s. Caitlyn Jenner's transition from a man to a woman was the most public transition of its kind to date. In doing so, she changed the picture in countless people's minds of what a trans person looks like and can be.
2. LAVERNE COX
Laverne Cox is best known for her role as Sophia Burset on the famous Netflix series "Orange Is the New Black". She was the first transgender person to ever be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. In 2014, she became the first openly trans person to ever appear on the cover of Time magazine.
Laverne was born in Mobile, Alabama, and attended college at the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham, where she studied creative writing before switching to dance. Her twin brother, M Lamar, actually plays the role of Marcus (Cox's character, before she transitioned) on "Orange Is the New Black." Laverne Cox has used her growing popularity to advocate for both the trans community and LGBTQ rights.
3. CHAZ BONO
American writer, musician, and actor, Chaz Bono is the only child of American pop singers, Sonny & Cher. He was born in 1969 as Chastity Sun Bono. In the 1970s, he appeared on his parents' TV variety show numerous times as a little girl. Between 2008 and 2010, Bono underwent female-to-male gender transition. He documented his transition in the 2011 movie, "Becoming Chaz." And until Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner hit the scene, he was the most public face of the transgender community.
4. JAZZ JENNINGS
American teenager Jazz Jennings burst into the limelight when she participated in a 20/20 interview with Barbara Walters in 2007, called "'I’m a Girl' — Understanding Transgender Children." During that conversation, Jazz's parents noted that she identified as a girl the moment she could speak.
Jazz, who was just 7 years old at the time, drew global attention that night for the innocence with which she was able to articulate her views and feelings on the transgender experience. Jazz now hosts a YouTube series, called "I Am Jazz." She is the face of Clean & Clear's "See The Real Me" campaign. And she's also the subject of an 11-part reality show on TLC about her life, called "All That Jazz".
5. ANDREJA PEJIĆ
Australian model Andreja Pejić is a supermodel that was discovered at the age of 17 while she was working at a McDonalds. Since then, Andreja has walked the runway for some high-profile fashion giants, including Jean-Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs.
In fact, before she underwent sex reassignment surgery in late 2013, Andreja walked the runway for Jean-Paul Gaultier in both the women's and men's shows, displaying clothing at the highest level for both genders. And as if those unique achievements were not enough, she was also the first transgender model to ever be profiled by Vogue.
6. FALLON FOX
Fallon Fox is the first openly transgender Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) athlete in the history of the sport. She came out in 2013, during an interview with ‘Sports Illustrated’. And since then, there has been much debate over whether she has an unfair edge over other female fighters and should be allowed to compete against them. Fox, though, argues that since she has no testicles nor ovaries, she probably has less testosterone, strength, and endurance than other female MMA athletes.
7. CARMEN CARRERA
Carmen Carrera is an American reality TV personality, model and actress. On May 1, 2012, ABC News reported that Carrera is a trans woman. Although she presented as male during the third Season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, she was identified as a gay man during the filming of the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and began sex reassignment surgery when she concluded filming.
8. ERIKA ERVIN
Supermodel Erika, popularly known as Amazon Eve, is an American model, fitness trainer, and actress. Ervin wasn’t always known as Erika. She was originally named Williams before she transitioned back in 2004. She is the world's tallest female model with a height of 6’8. She has appeared on the cover of Australian magazine Zoo Weekly, and also acted in 'American Horror Story: Freak Show' and in 'American Horror Story: Apocalypse'.
9. JENNA TALACKOVA
In 2010, Jenna Talackova became the first trans woman to compete in an international beauty pageant, when she represented Canada in the 2010 International Queen beauty competition in Thailand. Jenna then proceeded to represent Canada in the 2012 Miss Universe pageant.
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10. CANDIS CAYNE
Candis Cayne is the first trans actress to play a recurring transgender role on primetime TV. Born Brendan McDaniel, Candis was one of two male fraternal twins. In the 1990s, she relocated to New York City and started working as both a choreographer and drag performer.
But, it was not until she was cast as Carmelita Rainer (a transgender woman engaged in an affair with Billy Baldwin's character on the TV drama "Dirty Sexy Money"), that she really exploded onto the pop culture scene and became a public face for the trans community.
As we've seen, transgender people come from all walks of life. However, despite the increased visibility of transgender celebs like actress Laverne Cox or TV personality Caitlyn Jenner, many people still don’t personally know anyone who is transgender. Do you know any trans person not included in our list? What do you admire them for? Please, tell us in the comment section and don't forget to share this article with your friends.