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Home » tvChix Articles » Transgender Celebrities & Public Figures

Transgender Celebrities & Public Figures

The visibility of openly transgender people remains poor in the media today, particularly for trans men. However, there are a number of public figures who have risen to prominence. Some have even had successful careers in politics, one of the most brutally public of all careers. This article details just a few transgender people who have found themselves in the public eye.

Estelle Asmodelle

Beyond her career as a writer and entertainer, Estelle is also notable for being the first legally recognized transsexual in Australia. She has been involved in many of the advances for transgender rights in Australia, having lobbied tirelessly to have her gender officially recognized. Her activism continues to this day, along with running a network of modelling sites and a film production company.

Georgina Beyer

There are several ways in which Georgina will stand out in history. She is both the first openly transgender mayor and the first openly transgender Member of Parliament. She was elected mayor of Carterton, New Zealand in 1995 and then served as an MP for the Labour Party from 1999 until 2007.

Billy Tipton

Unlike the others on this list, Billy wasn't publicly known as transgender during his life. Only his parents and a few other blood relatives knew that he had been assigned female at birth. His career as a jazz musician was modestly successful, though he had to retire in the 1970s due to arthritis.

Caroline Cossey

One of the world's most well known trans women, Caroline is commonly known by the modeling name she worked under, "Tula." Her career as a model was quite successful and she eventually appeared as an extra in the James Bond film "For Your Eyes Only." This led to a tabloid publishing a story revealing the fact that she was transgender. Despite being outed and a brief period of contemplating suicide, she returned to modelling. Today she lives with her husband in America.

Calpernia Addams

Actress, writer, director, musician and retired combat medic, Calpernia has also taken a place in activism as the spokesperson for PFLAG's "This Is Our Love" campaign. She worked in entertainment following her retirement from the United States military, but it was the tragic murder of her boyfriend and the subsequent trial that initially raised her profile. The story of their relationship and the hate crime that ended her boyfriend's life was made into the film "Soldier's Girl."

Chaz Bono

Though he is not famous in his own right and owes most of his notoriety to his parents Cher and Sonny Bono, Chaz has in many ways been adopted as a poster boy for trans men. This role has caused some frustration for many men who don't feel that he reflects their personal experience. Chaz has a long history in LGBT activism, having worked as the spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign as well as writing for The Advocate.



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