The world has been abuzz as everyone talks about gender and how it is being reshaped by Millenials and Gen Z. An increasing number of celebrities are coming out as non-binary, transgender, or some flavor of non-cis. These people are helping to reshape the world and create a space where other people feel safe being their authentic selves.
Famous for her roles on shows such as Orange is the New Black, Laverne Cox has long been out and proud as a transgender woman. She’s outspoken in the movement for transgender people to gain and keep their rights and she addresses crowds at forums and schools around the country. She’s even had a Barbie created in her likeness and supports the Mattel transgender Barbie that is making waves.
The star of Umbrella Academy came out as transgender on December 1, 2020, and was quickly accepted into the community. His character in Umbrella Academy was quickly rewritten to accommodate the changes in his life and ensure he did not feel dysmorphia while on the set. Since coming out, Elliot has spoken about his journey often and showed the world a little of what goes into finding your authentic self when you are part of the trans community. He states that he feels lucky to be at a place in his life where he can be himself and receive such large amounts of support.
The first transgender model to sign with IMG Models, Hari Nef attended Columbia University, which is where she came out and began her transition. Since then, she was discovered by a photographer on Instagram and now models for a wide range of shows. She’s even attended the Emmy Awards. Other famous transgender models include April Ashley, Shay Neary, and Geena Rocero.
Perhaps one of the transgender people who has been out the longest, Lana Wachowski has never tried to hide who she is and has had a successful career in Hollywood. Together with her brother, she has co-written, directed, and produced such Hollywood blockbusters as Cloud Atlas, V for Vendetta, and the Matrix series.
The first transgender woman to appear on America’s Next Top Model, Isis King has gone on to appear in a number of shows, including Equal on HBO. In an article published in November 2020, King stated that she feels transgender voices are only just beginning to be heard and taken seriously. She said she finds the stories that people share inspiring and enjoys that transgender and other people under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella are finally having the courage to tell their stories.
A famous trans broadcaster, Zoey Tur is no stranger to standing up for herself. In fact, many people have seen her do just that. During an interview that included Ben Shapiro, he refused to refer to her as a woman and even went as far as to call her “sir.” Tur had no problem standing up for herself during the interaction and the video of it went viral on the internet. In addition to her own work in the transgender community, she is the subject of a documentary, Whirlybird, which shows her as a news pioneer and explains how she feels she was a toxic male before her transition.
While talk about being transgender seems relatively new on a large scale, there have always been transgender men and women in every community, including the music community. Wendy Carlos is an electronic musician who, in 1968, released Switched-On Bach. She went on to win three Grammy Awards for it. Additionally, it was one of the first classical albums ever to sell more than 500,000 copies. Carlos went on to work on large-scale projects, including Tron, The Shining, and A Clockwork Orange.
From the world of Barbie to the world of television, transgender and gender non-conforming people are integrated into every aspect of society. They deserve the same rights and protection that cisgender people do and will continue to fight for them as needed.