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Famous transgender role models

Famous transgender role models

The last few years have seen an increase in people around the world openly identifying as transgender. With the increase in high profile transgender figures like Caitlyn Jenner receiving widespread media attention, and with the increasingly vocal and supportive network of the LGBT community, lots of people feel more comfortable in coming forward as transgender than ever. There are a huge number of individuals who champion acceptance and equality around the world; today we will look at just some of the people around the world who have made, and continue to make, a difference.

Vladimir Luxuria

Born Wladimiro Guadagno, Vladamir is an Italian actress, writer, politician and television host, who was the first openly transgender member of Parliament in Europe, and the world's second openly transgender MP after New Zealander Georgina Beyer. Though Luxuria lives exclusively as a female, she has stated on occasion that she perceives herself as neither male or female and has not undergone sex change surgery. Though she lost her seat in 2008, she continues to bring transgender representation into the world of politics and has been a strong advocate of gay and LGBT rights around the world.

Jenna Talackova

Canadian model Jenna Talackova became a role model for the transgender community when she stood up to Donald Trump to allow transgender women to compete in the Miss Universe Canada competition. Despite being initially, and humiliatingly, disqualified for being transgender, Talackova fought for her right to participate and eventually won the case. Her efforts have helped to break down regimented gender barriers around the world and she continues to represent the battle for gender equality. She was named co-marshal of the 2012 Vancouver Pride Parade.

Chaz Bono

The only child of American entertainers Sonny and Cher, Bono is a transgender male and advocate for LGBT equality. In 1995, after being outed in the press as a lesbian for a number of years, Chaz came out as transgender publically in an interview with national gay and lesbian magazine, The Advocate. Among his many accomplishments, Bono has been; a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, promoted National Coming Out Day and campaigned against the Defense of Marriage Act. Bono is a high profile figure and transgender role model from the 90’s and deserves a lot of respect for his movements, which paved the way for the improved conditions of today's transgender community.

Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner is one of the most famous transgender figures, and was involved in one of the most highly publicised gender transformations of all time. Though Caitlyn Jenner has not been without her fair share of controversy from both transgender advocates and protesters, there are few that can deny how much publicity and attention her actions have drawn to the transgender movement. Her high profile transformation from Bruce Jenner, the world renowned Olympic athlete, to Cailyn Jenner, through numerous interviews, books and through her TV show, has helped to pave the way for cultural acceptance of transgender transformation and increased cultural acceptance of the transgender community.

Sylvia Rivera

Until her death in 2002, Sylvia Rivera was one of the leading figures in gay liberation and transgender advocacy. Throughout most of her life, Sylvia protested for the rights and freedom of countless movements, including the rights of people of colour and trans people. With her friend Marsh Johnson, Sylvia was a regular patron of Stonewall Inn and both were front and centre during the infamous Stonewall riots in 1969 where gay men, lesbians, drag queens, street people and trans people rose up against institutional oppression. Sylvia remains a lasting role model for activists around the world and a lasting representation of how you should fight for what you believe in to make life better for others. There are a great many more transgender supporters and identifiers that have helped lead the way for current generations to feel comfortable addressing their true selves without fear or persecution or ridicule. Though we are still far from perfect equality, there are many people around the world who continue to be role models for free speech and equality.
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