Interested in a detailed list of famous transgender people? You're in luck, as you'll find plenty listed below. Who are some famous transgender people? You can find famous intersex, nonbinary, and trans celebrities on this list whether they be transgender actors, actresses, writers, photographers, or Black Hollywood stars. There are actually many more famous people who have undergone gender reassignment than one would expect, including of course the child of Sonny & Cher, Chaz Bono. There are even transgendered movie directors, like one of the co-directors of the Matrix, Lana Wachowski. These transgender celebrities have been brave enough to undergo extraordinary transformations, even while living in the public eye. Other popular transgender celebs include Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox, and Carmen Carrera.
This list includes both transgender men who were assigned female at birth, and transgender women who were assigned male at birth, as well as a few intersex or nonbinary celebrities. Read more about their lives before and after transitioning, then checkout our list of the best transgender movies.
Jenner is a former Olympic athlete, and star of the popular reality television series Keeping Up With the Kardashians. In 2014, following widespread speculation, Jenner revealed in an exclusive interview with Diane Sawyer that she was transgender, and wanted to be recognized as a woman.
In 2015, Jenner announced on the cover of Vanity Fair that she wished to be called Caitlyn. Soon after the magazine cover was released, a new verified Twitter account @Caitlyn_Jenner tweeted, "I'm so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self. Welcome to the world Caitlyn. Can't wait for you to get to know her/me."
Carrera is a burlesque and drag performer who has has appeared on RuPaul's Drag Race, and subsequently criticized RuPaul for his frequent transphobic comments. Though she presented as male when she appeared on the show, Carrera has since announced that she is in fact a transgender woman. She has also appeared in several other reality series (Cake Boss, Real Housewives of New York City) and is petitioning to be accepted as the first transgender model for Victoria's Secret.
- Amanda Lepore is a fashion and photography model, actress, performance artist, and singer. She has been a regular fixture of the New York art and fashion scenes for decades, and has worked with David LaChapelle and Terry Richardson. She is one of the most recognizable transgender public figures in the world.
- Best known for her starring role in the hit Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, Laverne Cox is a transgender actress, author, artist, and activist. She is the first transgender actress to be nominated for a Prime Time Emmy Award.
Candis CayneCandis Cayne is notable for being the first transgender actress to play a recurring transgender role on television, as Carmelita on ABC's Dirty Sexy Money. She is also a performance artist and choreographer, and was a drag performer for many years before completing her transition and beginning to live full-time as a woman.
Chaz BonoChaz Bono is a writer, musician, LGBTQ advocate, and son of pop superstars Sonny and Cher. He has written two different, semi-autobiographical books about coming out, and is the subject of a documentary called Becoming Chaz.
Sister of David and Patricia, Alexis Arquette was an actress, musician, and cabaret performer. She started acting at the age of 12, when she made her debut as a background character in the music video for the song "She's a Beauty" by the Tubes. She appeared in dozens of films and TV shows as both male and female characters, including Bride of Chucky, Pulp Fiction, and The Wedding Singer. Arquette was also the subject of a 2007 documentary about her transition, titled Alexis Arquette: She's My Brother.
Alexis passed away on September 11, 2016, at the age of 47. She was surrounded by family, who sang David Bowie's "Star Man" to her as she passed. No cause of death was announced, though it's rumored she was suffering from a disease. A transgender pioneer and activist, Alexis was memorialized in a lengthy Facebook post by her brother Richmond, who wrote:
"She fiercely lived her reality in a world where it is dangerous to be a trans person - a world largely unready to accept differences among human beings, and where there is still the ugliness of violence and hostility towards people that we may not understand... where she was going, there was only one gender."
After building a successful modeling career on her androgynous appearance and ability to showcase both male and female fashion lines, the formerly male-identifying model announced in 2014 that she was changing her first name to Andreja, and wished to be recognized as a woman. Prior to this, Pejic had stated she considered herself neither male or female, and was "living between genders."
- Caroline Cossey is an English model and actress, and is one of the best-known transgender celebrities of all time. She appeared in the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only, and was the first transgender woman to model for Playboy. In 1982, she published an autobiography titled I Am a Woman.
- Isis King is a fashion designer and model. She was the first transgender model to compete in America's Next Top Model.
- Marsha P. Johnson was possibly the most seminal and important LGBTQ activist of the early gay rights era. She was an organizer, community advocate, and stage performer. A documentary about her life called Pay It No Mind was released in 2012.
- Wendy Carlos is one of the most important and influential electronic music artists in history. She is best remembered as the composer of the iconic films scores for Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange and The Shining, and for Disney's Tron.
Kate Bornstein is an author, experimental performer, actress, and LGBTQ activist. She was assigned male at birth, and now describes herself as nonbinary (meaning that her gender identity falls outside of the male/female binary). She is the author of the seminal transgender manifesto Gender Outlaw.
Lana WachowskiOne half of the sibling creative team formerly known as the Wachowski brothers, Lana Wachowski created the incredibly successful Matrix franchise with her brother, Andy. They also worked together on film adaptations of V for Vendetta, Speed Racer, and Cloud Atlas.
Candy Darling was one of the most influential pop artists and filmmakers in Andy Warhol's repertory performers, appearing in Warhol's films Flesh and Women In Revolt. Darling passed away in 1974 at the age of 29, and in 2010 was the subject of a feature-length documentary, Beautiful Darling.
- Kelly van der Veer is a Dutch singer and television personality. She appeared on a Dutch version of the show Big Brother, called Big Brother: The Battle, and subsequently participated in another Dutch reality show specifically for transgender competitors.
- April Ashley is a former model and film actress who had sex reassignment surgery in 1960, and was subsequently outed by a British tabloid. She was one of the first known people in Britain to undergo surgical transition.
- One of Andy Warhol's "Superstar" performers, Holly Woodlawn is an actress and public figure. She starred in Warhol's Trash and Women In Revolt, and has gone on to appear in many films and television shows.
- Kim Petras is a German pop star and electronic music artist. She has been recording and performing music since age 13.
- Fay Presto is a British celebrity magician and member of The Inner Magic Circle. She has been performing live and appearing on television since the 1980s.
Andreas Krieger is a former German shot putter who once competed on the Women's East German Athletics Team. He was involved in a scandal when it was revealed he had been unwittingly dosed with anabolic steroids. Krieger later completed a course of hormone therapy and transitioned to male, indicating that he had felt a longing to be identified as male long before the accidental hormone exposure, although he resented not having more control in his own transition process.
Lea TLea T is a Brazilian high fashion model. She has been modeling since 2010, and is also the spokesmodel for Redken.
- Balian Buschbaum is a former German pole-vaulting champion. He competed during the early 2000s under the name Yvonne, but announced his retirement in 2007, partly due to his wish to begin undergoing hormone therapy, and undergo surgical transition to become fully recognized as male.
Christine Jorgenson is remembered as the first widely-recognized individual to undergo gender reassignment therapy. She was a WWII veteran who, prior to serving, traveled to Denmark to undergo a series of experimental surgeries at a time when gender transitioning was virtually unknown. Jorgensen's transition made her a media superstar overnight, and she was featured in several magazines and television programs.