Their voices are powerful. Their stories are inspiring. These transgender singers have won over fans with their impressive musical talents and advocacy for trans people. Some talented transgender vocalists sing folk music, while other notable trans singers perform at the opera. Many of the greatest transgender singers front popular rock bands.
Who will you find on this list of famous transgender singers? Laura Jane Grace appears at the top. In 2016, the Against Me! singer burned her birth certificate on stage in North Carolina to protest transgender discrimination. She came out as a transgender women in a Rolling Stone interview in 2012 and released her memoir, Tranny, in 2016. Antony Hegarty is one of the only transgender musicians to ever be nominated for an Academy Award. She was recognized for Best Original Song for “Manta Ray," which was featured in the documentary Racing Extinction. Other famous musicians that appear on this list of top transgender singers include Eli Conley, Richard O'Brien, and Bell Nuntita.
Which transgender singer is your favorite? Take a look at this list and share some of your favorite songs in the comments section.
In 2016, Against Me! singer Laura Jane Grace burned her birth certificate on stage in North Carolina to protest transgender discrimination. She came out as a transgender women in a Rolling Stone interview in 2012 and released her memoir, Tranny, in 2016.
Genres (Music): Folk music, Alternative rock, Punk rock, Folk punk
Albums: Heart Burns, Anna Is a Stool Pigeon
Nationality: United States of America
Labels: Resist Records, No Idea Records, Fat Wreck Chords, Sire Records
Career Began: Gainesville, Florida, United States of America
Also Rankedsee more on Laura Jane Grace
Cliks vocalist and guitarist Lucas Silveira is the first transgender male to be signed to a major record label. "Being a person who identifies as a male in a physicality [that is] still female, and then transitioning to a male, was a very interesting thing,” he said in an interview. “I still believe that somewhere in my psyche there is a place that has been conditioned and socialized to be female."
Genres (Music): Rock music, Folk music
Labels: Tommy Boy Entertainmentsee more on Lucas Silveira
Singer and actress Romy Haag – who has appeared in such films as Mascara and House of Boys – was born Edouard Frans Verba in the Netherlands. Besides her own musical and film career, Haag is known for her relationship to David Bowie.
Genres (Music): Pop music
Nationality: Netherlands, Germanysee more on Romy Haag
"Everyone is uncomfortable with gender. It's an uncomfortable thing, especially if you are born in a body where you have to think about it all the time," said hip-hop artist Katastrophe in an interview. "Sometimes I feel the reason I was born is to make it something comfortable for me, but also to make it comfortable for the rest of the world."
Genres (Music): Hip hop music, LGBT hip hopsee more on Katastrophe
Jessica 6 singer Nomi Ruiz said that it can be difficult to be a transgender woman in the music business. "There’s always discrimination in every industry, especially the music industry," she said. "But at the end of the day, you can’t deny talent."
Genres (Music): Disco, Dance-punk, House music, Nu-disco
Labels: DFAsee more on Nomi Ruiz
Richard O'Brien – who wrote and co-starred in The Rocky Horror Picture Show – has identified as transgender. O'Brien said, "I think of myself as Richard. I think of myself as a third sex and it makes things easier. I’m somewhere in the middle. My wife and children love me and celebrate me for who I am."
Albums: The Rocky Horror Collection, The Rocky Horror Show, Shock Treatment, The Rocky Horror Picture Show: 21st Anniversary The Rocky Horror Show: The Whole Gory Story, + more
Nationality: United Kingdom, New Zealandsee more on Richard O'Brien
Actress and singer Christine Jorgensen had a male-to-female sex change operation in the early 1950s. Always open about her personal story, she is often hailed as a pioneer for trans visibility.
Singer and performer Amanda Lepore has said, "I've got the most expensive body on earth." She had a sex change operation at age 19.
Albums: I… Amanda Lepore, Introducing... Amanda Lepore, Doin' It My Way, Cotton Candy
Nationality: United States of Americasee more on Amanda Lepore