5 Trailblazing Celebs Paving the Way for Trans Rights

The famous people proud to be making a difference

(Glynnis Jones / Shutterstock.com)

(Glynnis Jones / Shutterstock.com)

Celebrities are known for backing causes that they are passionate about and by using their status are often able to create significant change. As they become increasingly visible on our screens more transgender celebrities are using their fame to highlight issues close to their hearts. Understanding that there is still a long way to go in the fight for equality for transgender people, there are plenty of brave people in the limelight who are raising awareness on this important issue.


An American writer, TV host and author Janet Mock came out publicly as a woman in a Marie Claire article in 2011 and has since become a spokesperson for transgender rights. Her New York Times bestselling memoir, Redefining Realness was the first book written by a trans person who transitioned at a young age. She started a Twitter hashtag to empower transgender women called #GirlsLikeUs, and is active within a number of different organizations fighting for the rights of trans people.

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Comedian and actor Ian Harvie uses his honest stand-up routines to raise awareness about issues that the trans community deal with such as restrooms, surgery and discrimination. Harvie has worked as an activist for trans representation in entertainment for years, both on screen and behind the scenes. Recently Harvie, along with other transgender actors and actresses, launched a campaign asking for more and improved roles for transgender people in Hollywood.


Laverne Cox was the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in the acting category for her role in Orange Is the New Black and since then has used her fame to become a loyal activist. A trailblazer for the transgender community, Cox has won numerous awards for her activism and regularly tops lists of the most influential LGBTQ people. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from The New School in New York City for her progressive work in the fight for gender equality.

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Tiq Milan is a writer, public speaker and strategic media consultant whose advocacy, LGBT activism, and journalism has been recognized nationally. A national spokesperson for transgender rights, he is known for strategizing with national news media outlets about fair and accurate reporting on transgender people and is also a GLAAD Spirit Day Ambassador. He was featured in Live Out Loud's Homecoming Project, which sent successful LGBT people back to their hometown high schools to share knowledge and talk about the lessons they have learned since leaving.

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Filipino American supermodel Geena Rocero has broken down barriers for transgender models and people in general around the world with her activism. In honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility, Rocero came out as transgender while giving a TED talk in New York City. She is the founder of Gender Proud, an advocacy and aid organization that stands up for the right of transgender people worldwide.

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