8 Transgender Actors and Actresses Who Are Changing the Movie Industry
As cinema and television are becoming more inclusive and diverse, we’re starting to see more and more transgender people in leading and supporting roles. Finally, transgender people around the world have representatives on screen, and they can see themselves in a variety of stories told by talented trans actors and actresses. What’s even more precious is that many of them open up about their transitioning journeys, supporting and inspiring those who face similar challenges.
We at Bright Side took a closer look at some of the transgender actors and actresses who are writing the new history of the movie and television industry.
Canadian actor and producer Elliot Page was born as Ellen Page on February 21, 1987, and was assigned female at birth. For many years, he was known to a wide audience as Ellen, until Elliot announced his transition in December of 2020. “Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they, and my name is Elliot. I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life,” wrote Elliot in his Twitter post.
One of the roles Trace is most known for is Shea in the TV series, Transparent, from 2014. This is when Trace came out as a transgender person after playing non-transgender roles. Later, she made a notable appearance on the big screen together with Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers, which came out in 2019.
Mj Rodriguez was born on January 7, 1991. She wanted to be an actress since childhood and started her acting career with theatrical performances and episodes in TV shows. In 2016, she started the transitioning process and later re-emerged as a transgender actress. In 2022, she won a Golden Globe for “best actress” for her work in Pose.
Movies and TV shows: Jolt (2021), Doubt (2017), Orange Is the New Black (2013)
Laverne Cox, born on May 29, 1972, is most famous for her role in the Netflix series, Orange Is the New Black. In 2014, Laverne became the first transgender person nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. In 2015, Time magazine included Laverne in the “100 Most Influential People” list of the year. Laverne also became the first openly transgender person who appeared on covers of Time, British Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Essence magazines.
Jamie Clayton was born on January 15, 1978, in California. She moved to New York City at the age of 19 to become a makeup artist. However, she soon started appearing in TV series. One of her most notable roles was in a Netflix series, Sense8, created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski.
Indya Moore, born on January 17, 1995, is an actress and model, mostly known for her role in Pose. In 2019, Time magazine named Indya among the “100 Most Influential People of the Year.” The actress came out as transgender and non-binary and prefers they/them and she/her pronouns.
Asia Kate Dillon
Asia Kate Dillon was born on November 15, 1984. The actor is non-binary and prefers singular they/them pronouns. Dillon is best known for their roles in the TV series, Orange Is the New Black, and Billions. Dillon claims that gender is a large spectrum that is not limited by male and female genders, and that’s why the actor stopped using gendered pronouns in relation to themselves.
Josie Totah was born as J. J. Totah on August 5, 2001. The actress became popular thanks to her role in the Disney Channel series, Jessie. She publicly came out as a trans woman in 2018. Josie wrote an article for Time magazine where she opened up about her transitioning journey. “This is not something that just happened. This is not a choice that I made. When I was 5, long before I understood what the word gender meant, I would always tell my mother that I wished I were a girl,” Josie confessed.
Have you watched any movies with these actors and actresses? Do you think the cinema and TV industry has changed a lot recently?