12 Well-Known Men Who Used to Be Women

3 years ago

According to a study that was published in 2017, there are over one million transgender people in the US alone, with 50% of them being young adults. These people had been walking in the wrong shoes for so long and decided that it was time to change that. Re-assigning their gender was just the first step to find their true selves and start their new lives.

Bright Side would like to show you how 12 women completely changed their lives when they decided to become men and get the body that feels like home to them.

1. Aydian Dowling

Aydian is the first transgender man to have ever been featured on the cover of Gay Times magazine. Before that, he was part of a campaign that was trying to get him on the cover of Men’s Health and he even appeared on Ellen to maximize his chances, but unfortunately he didn’t succeed. He said that the first time someone saw him as a man was the most defining day of his life. That happened while he was waiting in line and a woman behind the counter referred to him as “sir,” which made him feel, for the first time, that he was being seen as the person he always wanted to be.

2. Jaimie Wilson

Jamie was 18-years-old when he decided to start transitioning from female to male. When he announced his decision to his family and friends, almost all of them abandoned him and thought that he was “too feminine” to be a man. They were shocked to hear the news since, as they said, he didn’t “show any signs” all these years, referring to his feminine look. Even today, many people accuse him of trying too hard to look like a man. He isn’t sad anymore about the people that left him, since he’s found new friends in the LGBTQ community and his true identity.

3. Elijah Stephens

This man was the first in New Jersey to acquire a man’s reproductive organ. This allows him to experience the entire sensation of having a penis. The doctors used skin from Elijah’s forearm in an operation that lasted 14 hours. The procedure was successful and, after a while, Elijah learned how to live with and go through his everyday life with his new organ. The best part is that Elijah has had his longtime girlfriend along with him since the first day he started transitioning, and together they’ve overcome all the hurdles.

4. Ian Harvie

Ian Harvie is a stand-up comedian who became famous for his role on the popular TV series Transparent and Mistresses. Hollywood categorizes him in the transgender area and he has become a powerful voice for the community’s needs and problems. When he was young, his mom would put him in dresses on formal occasions, but he would change back into his boy clothes when they would get back home. Ian first came out as homosexual to his family when he was 19, but still felt a weight on his shoulders. This weight was lifted when he transitioned and started his new journey in life. He is now advocating for the transgender community and doing stand-up all over the US.

5. Laith Ashley

Laith is one of very few transgender models with a tremendous career. He was even the first trans man to be a member of the Pit Crew on RuPaul’s Drag Race. He says that he always liked to spend more time with the boys and used to rip his dresses up and rip the bows off of his girly underwear. He didn’t start his transition until he was almost 25 and after it was complete he saw his modeling career skyrocket. However, there have been cases where people have declined to work with him or represent him right after they learned that he was a transgender man. It’s also very hard to find work as an actor since producers won’t cast him either as a man or a transgender man, simply because they want faces that are visibly transgender and not as masculine as Laith is.

6. Lucas Silveira

Lucas Silveira is the front man of a Canadian rock & roll band and the first transgender man to be voted Canada’s Sexiest Man Alive. His transition journey began when he ended his 6-year relationship with his then girlfriend. He spent many years feeling unhappy with his life and thinking that transitioning was impossible so he should just learn to live as a woman. After his breakup, he decided that it was time to chase after his true identity, something that affected his band, but only in the beginning. Even today, some people still refer to him as “her” and he tries to be very patient, thinking that they are just ignorant or uncomfortable.

7. Ryan Sallans

Ryan Sallans is a published author and a carpenter who decided to start his journey to become a male back in 2005. Since that day, Ryan has been a recognized advocate and spokesperson for the transgender community and has spoken at over 70 universities across the United States. His mission is to educate people around the globe about trans people and prove to them that no matter how afraid you are, you can accomplish anything you want if that’s your destiny.

8. Shane Ortega

Shane Ortega first served in the US army as a female and then as a transgender man in Afghanistan. His mother is a lesbian and he grew up in an environment surrounded by the LGBTQ community and its values. Even though he knew the military’s restrictions on homosexuals and transgenders, he didn’t hold back and served his country. He is now an advocate for the LGBTQ members of the military and fights to try to lift the ban regarding them joining the armed forces.

9. Ryan Cassata

Ryan Cassata is an American musician who had a double mastectomy at the age of 18. However, he had already identified as a man from the age of 13. He has never taken testosterone — as most trans men do — and he says that one of the biggest issues in his everyday life is walking in public restrooms, where he sometimes gets verbally or even physically attacked. He has appeared on famous TV shows, including Larry King Live, and is constantly trying to help people who are now going through this transition.

10. Leo Sheng

Leo Sheng started his transition back in 2014, when he also had his first major surgery. He has been sharing his journey on Instagram in order to try and teach people about what transitioning means and what it takes. It took him a long time until he could post anything from his childhood or early teen years, due to the feminine clothing and persona he had. At first, he pretended like that time never existed in his life. His goal is to lift the stigma off the transgender community and make people realize that trans people are just like everyone else.

11. Elliot Fletcher

Elliot Fletcher is one of the most successful young trans male actors in Hollywood, having played in series like Faking It, The Fosters and Shameless. He also participated in the first sexual scene between a cisgender and a transgender person on TV and his goal is to be the first transgender superhero. He always identified as a man and he tried to end his life twice during his school years, simply because he couldn’t live as a woman. Everyone would always refer to him as a woman and he preferred being dead to living this way. Then, at the age of 17, he came out to his parents as transgender and asked his teachers to refer to him as “him” and not “her.” Now, he is happier than ever with the way he looks and surrounds himself only with people who love and understand him.

12. Chris Mosier

Chris Mosier is a triathlete who was a catalyst in changing the guidelines for the participation of transgender athletes in international games. He is the first athlete to be included on the US team and was also the first to participate in a Nike advertisement. He used to date a lot of guys back in his college days, but one day he met a woman that later became his wife. He had trouble identifying as a lesbian and always thought that he was heterosexual. The reason for that was that he didn’t identify as a woman. He also felt disappointed with his body and was never okay with his breasts, until he started transitioning back in 2010. His wife not only supported him through the journey, but he also achieved more records in his career competing against male athletes during this time.

How strong do you think someone must be to go through a change like this and face all the difficulties that come with it? Please tell us what you think down in the comment section.


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I believe everyone has a choice to do what they want/feel with their bodies but i do not believe nature makes so many "mistakes". You cannot change your chromosomes, so they cannot "become" another sex. They can have operations & take medications to "look different". As long as they are happy, more power to them because my opinion has zero bearing on their lives.


This is a prb , i mean , a medical prb . I am not agree with this , but tgis people who is trans , they have a prb from the first time when they was create . If he is a boy , his brain think like a brain from a girl . Ask a doctor .
Whatever , i am still not agree with the trans , they need a doctor


I'm stunned by the fact that I saw the guy #11 playing a transgender in Shameless while being a real transgender. Just wow.


How can families and friends leave transgender people behind when they decide to transition? It's the same human.


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