In recent decades, America has finally got its act together by introducing a series of progressive measures such as franchising female voters and people of color. However, in more recent years the issue of transgendered rights came into play, and with that, more questions on social equality entered the political arena, namely; Should they be allowed to turn their backs on the sex nature gave them?
Regardless of the debate, one place that has always been accepting of individuality is Hollywood. It should come as little surprise then that these 15 transgendered celebrities are currently making big waves in Tinseltown, and some of the names may even shock you!
Here are 15 examples.
15. Chaz Bono
The son of Cher and Sonny Bono revealed to the world in 2009 that he had made the successful transition from woman to a man.
Now a leading advocate for transgender rights, Bono has also enjoyed much success in Hollywood and was most recently seen in the acclaimed American tv series American Horror Story: Cult.
14. Lana Wachowski
A famed producer of the Matrix series as well as having directing credits to a string of acclaimed Hollywood films, including the most recent Cloud Atlas, Lana Wachowski came out as trans in July 2012.
When accepting an award at 2012's Human Rights Campaign event, Wachowski made headlines around the world for her eloquent, impassioned speech on coming out as trans, a transition which started in her teens and nearly cost her to take her life because of the societal stigma attached to trans people. After school, I go to the nearby Burger King and I write a suicide note. It ends up being over four pages. I’m a little talkative. But it was addressed to my parents and I really wanted to convince them that it wasn’t their fault, it was just that I didn’t belong," she tearfully recited.
13. Alexis Arquette
Alexis Arquette had her transition documented for the film 'Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother.'
Sadly, the actress, cabaret performer and underground cartoonist died from AIDS in September 2016, though media outlets have claimed Arquette was living as a man again shortly before her death.
12. Laverne Cox
One of the more well-known transgender celebrities on the list, Laverne Cox has recently established herself as a credible actress after her breakout role as female prisoner Sophia Burset in the Netflix smash 'Orange is the New Black.'
Like Cox, Burset is also transgender, and the series does a good job of portraying the innate stigma men and women have towards trans people who want to be accepted by their new sex.
11. Isis King
The 30-year-old fashion model, who transitioned in 2009, is most known for her appearances on the reality television series 'America's Next Top Model' and has also appeared in an American Apparel campaign.
As the first trans woman to appear on the show, King became one of the most visible trans models in the fashion world and has worked with numerous brands since her appearance on the reality series.
10. Balian Buschbaum
Before his transition, Balian Buschbaum was a champion pole-vaulter and even represented his native Germany at the Olympics.
However, after suffering a career-threatening injury in 2007, the handsome athlete was forced to retire and soon after, underwent sexual reassignment surgery.
9. Carmen Carrera
Carmen Carrera was another celebrity to have her transition from man to woman documented when she took part in the Logo reality TV series 'RuPaul's Drag Race.'
Still strutting her figure down the world's runways, Carrera is another trans model making waves in the fashion world.
8. Lea T
Since her successful transition, the gorgeous Lea T has graced the runway at numerous high profile fashion events and has even modelled for the fashion giant Givenchy.
7. Buck Angel
Buck Angel, the adult film producer and motivational speaker admitted that he wanted to be a man by the age of 16.
Also starring in many adult movies, the 45-year-old was recently the recipient of the AVN Award as Transsexual Performer of the Year.
6. Andreja Pejic
Andreja had walked the runway as both a male and a female model before she had her name changed to Andrea and has since undergone full gender reassignment surgery.
Yet Pejic's career hasn't been hampered, and the model continues to book campaigns with reputable fashion houses like Jean Paul Gaultier.
5. Conchita Wurst
Austrian Conchita Wurst reached global heights when she won the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest.
Though perhaps it was her unorthodox look that caught the world's eye as much as her impressive performance.
4. Jenna Talackova
Jenna Talackova made history when she became the first transgender women to compete in Miss Universe Canada.
But Talackova's entrance saw her winning the whole thing rather than simply make up the numbers!
3. Candis Cayne
In her formative years, Candis Cayne was a scrawny child who was teased for being too 'girly'.
Nowadays, the transgendered celebrity is as sassy as they come and usually parties the nights away with fellow transgendered BBF Caitlyn Jenner.
2. Ines Rau
The Parisian beauty Ines Rau transitioned at the tender age of 16 and has gone on to appear in a plethora of modelling campaigns.
One high-profile campaign of hers was a nude photo shoot with 90's male supermodel Tyson Beckford for luxury French magazine OOB.
1. Gigi Gorgeous
The Canadian-born vlogger documented her successful transition to her 2 million+ YouTube subscribers which led to widespread media attention.
Aptly named Gigi Gorgeous, the pretty face was also subject to a 2017 documentary film This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous (2017), which documented her fight against deportation from Dubai because of the U.A.E.'s tough stance on transgender issues.