10 Famous Transgender Actors You Should Know About

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A comprehensive list of famous and notable actors around the world and throughout history.

Diversity is becoming an ever-more-present part of the conversation in the entertainment industry. Now is the perfect time to recognize the work of these notable transgender actors, who spread awareness of trans people and advocate for social justice and acceptance. Some famous transgender actors have recurring roles on popular television series and other talented trans actors are best known for their work in films. Many of the best-known transgender actors advocate for LGBTQ+ causes.

Who will you find on this list of famous transgender actors? Chaz Bono has appeared in such TV series as The Bold and the Beautiful and American Horror Story. Richard O'Brien - who wrote and co-starred in The Rocky Horror Picture Show - has identified as transgender or third gender. Other trans men featured on this top transgender actors list include Riley Carter Millington, Ian Harvie, and Buck Angel.

Which transgender actor is your favorite? For more, check out some of the most famous transgender people and the best transgender films.

Photo: BoredBug / via Pinterest

  • Elliot Page
    Photo: John Parra / Getty Images Entertainment

    Elliot Page announced via social media on December 1, 2020, that he is trans via a letter to his followers. 

    The Umbrella Academy star wrote, "Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot. I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life. I feel overwhelming gratitude for the incredible people who have supported me along this journey. I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self. I’ve been endlessly inspired by so many in the trans community. Thank you for your courage, your generosity and ceaselessly working to make this world a more inclusive and compassionate place. I will offer whatever support I can and continue to strive for a more loving and equal society."

    • Age: 36
    • Birthplace: Halifax, Halifax Regional Municipality, Canada
  • Chaz Bono
    Photo: Tulane Public Relations / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

    Chaz Bono

    Chaz Bono is the child of Cher and Sonny Bono. Bono has appeared in such TV series as The Bold and the Beautiful and American Horror Story, and is a frequent speaker at universities and LGBTQ+ events.

  • Laverne Cox gained fame playing Sophia Burset on Orange is the New Black (2013-2018). She has also appeared in The Mindy Project (2015-2017), Doubt (2017), and The Rockey Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again (2016).

  • Michael D. Cohen, known for playing Schwoz Schwartz on Nickelodeon's Henry Danger and The Adventures of Kid Danger came out as transgender in May 2019. 

    The Canadian actor told Time that he had transitioned 20 years prior, having been "misgendered at birth." In his early twenties he had taken a few female acting roles, before he began transitioning. He later scored the role of Schwoz Schwartz in 2014.

    He came out in light of the attacks on transgender rights in the United States. "This crazy backlash and oppression of rights is happening right in front of me. I can’t stay silent. The level of — let’s be polite — misunderstanding around trans issues is so profound and so destructive. When you disempower one population, you disempower everybody. These are my people. I belong to this group,” he said.

    • Age: 43
    • Birthplace: Canada, Area code 431, Manitoba, Winnipeg, Area code 204
  • Ian Harvie
    Photo: Mistresses / ABC

    Ian Harvie has appeared in television series including Transparent and Mistresses. The actor and comedian got his start opening for Margaret Cho on her comedy tours.

    • Age: 50
    • Birthplace: Portland, Maine
  • Richard O'Brien
    Photo: ikrichter / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    British actor Richard O'Brien is best known for writing The Rocky Horror Show and appearing in the film version as Riff Raff. O'Brien has identified as transgender or third gender, saying, "There is a continuum between male and female. Some are hard-wired one way or another, I’m in between."

    • Age: 80
    • Birthplace: Cheltenham, England