30 Gender Transition Stories of Famous People

Transgenders don’t have it easy. They have to face discrimination and prejudice no matter where they go. It gets even worse, if transgenders are celebrities. For them, the backlash is the strongest since they’re in the midst of public eye.

However some brave souls own up to their transgender identity and they declare their transition public to become becons of hope for the whole transgender community. They fight for acceptance for not just themselves but for others as well.

Listed up in this post are over 30 photos of famous transgender celebrities along with their stories.

Scroll on and enjoy peeps.

#1 Laverne Cox

Cox said everyone was telling her that she was a boy, even though she knew she was a girl. “I knew in my heart and my soul and my spirit that I was a girl,” she said. “So, I reasoned that there must not be any difference.”

Cox started to go to therapy, and although she assumed her mother wouldn't know what she told the therapist, she did. Cox didn't have therapist-patient confidentiality as a third-grader.

When Cox’s mother found out what Cox was saying to the therapist, she yelled at Cox and insisted that she was a boy.

“It was another moment in my childhood where I was deeply shamed for something that felt really natural for me,” Cox said. “When I look back, there’s something kind of adorable about a third-grader wanting to fan themselves like Scarlett O'Hara, right?”

After a few more sessions, her therapist suggested she get injected with testosterone to make her more masculine.

Cox’s mother didn't feel right about injecting her third-grader with testosterone, and took her out of therapy.

“So, the therapy was discontinued, but the damage was done,” Cox said.

#2 Caitlyn Jenner

Another celebrity whose is famous for being transgender is Caitlyn Jenner, born Bruce Jenner, a reality TV star, a former Olympic gold medal-winning athlete.

As a child, Jenner struggled with gender dysphoria, a stressful condition that is caused by the conflict between a person’s assigned gender and the gender they themselves identify with. Trying to divert her mind from these thoughts, she turned to sports. But nothing helped.

"My brain is much more female than it is male. It’s hard for people to understand, but that’s what my soul is.” Caitlyn tells the whole story of her journey to transgender womanhood in her book The Secrets of My Life which was published in April 2017.

#3 Chaz Bono

Chaz was a precocious child, making his way through the quagmire of gender politics and realizing that he was a lesbian by the time he was 13 years old.

Yet mass media was somehow even crueler back then as it is now, and a sustained "outing" in the early 90s led to Chaz's public confirmation of his sexuality. This was a turning point in his life, and he increasingly found himself in a political and spokesperson role, highlighting the plight of the LGBT community. In 2008, Chaz underwent reassignment surgery to become the man he always believed himself to be, and the flowering was complete.

#4 Chelsea Manning

After a turbulent childhood and a realization that he wasn't attracted to girls like society demands, Bradley Manning caused another stir in 2013, the day after his sentencing, when she emerged as Chelsea Manning, demanding that she be referred to with the proper pronoun and announcing the next stage of a fascinating transition. She'd felt that she was a woman since childhood, and now was the time to act.

 In a way, Chelsea's jail time was like a caterpillar spinning its cocoon around itself. When her sentence was commuted by Barack Obama, the hormone therapy had begun to take hold and her dream was tantalizingly close to being realized.

#5 Andreja Pejic

At 17 years old, when she was discovered, Andreja already self-identified as gender neutral. In any other industry this might raise some nasty eyebrows, but the fashion world lapped up her intoxicatingly androgynous image. She had the ability to model both men's and women's clothes - and even did so for Jean-Paul Gautier during the Paris show of 2011.

 2013 saw her undertake sex reassignment surgery to confirm her desire to be a woman in the eyes of the world.

#6 Candis Cayne

She already knew about herelf as being transgender. She says" I had started hormone therapy and was at the point where I couldn't go back. Then I came to the conclusion that it was time to tell them. They took it amazingly. My dad actually said, It makes more sense, you being a woman than a gay man."

That was then he started the transition process.

#7 Carmen Carrera

Previously known as Christopher Ramon, a good kid of Peruvian and Puerto Rican descent. While sadly a childhood of confusion and bullying is kinda a common theme amongst trans people, Christopher Ramon was the exception to the rule.

She was a quietly confident gay man who would let nothing hold her back. Moving into the world of drag was a no-brainier for Carmen, and in the third season of Ru Paul's Drag Race she electrified the judges with her assured performances. 

At the end of the season, in 2013, she decided to make it all official and transition into a woman for good.

#8 Ian Harvie

He knew that he was transgender at an early age, but back then there really hard to describe it. At least not in the tiny town of Bridgton, Maine, where he grew up.

Luckily, plenty of introspection, booze, and love formed the man we know today. He came out at 19 years old and never looked back, honing his life experiences into razor-sharp comedy. Starting his shows in 2002, just two years after he transitioned, he's just gotten better and better.

#9 Isis King

She may not like her name these days, but Isis King sure isn't regretting her chosen gender. Born Darrell Walls in PG County, Maryland, Isis was just about as regular a guy and student as you could get - as this photo shows. But from a very early age, there were signs that she was incomplete as a male, and that she wanted to be something different.

At first she struggled with social norms. "I wanted to do everything that girls did - play with hair, walk in heels, and play double dutch, but I would get disciplined for it," she said of her early life. "I learned to keep everything to myself and internalize it." But later, she grew in confidence and through watching - surprisingly - Jerry Springer, she found her voice, moved to New York, and began transitioning in 2007.

#10 Jenna Talackova

Jenna Talackova was that woman. Her life was always going to be an interesting one, born in Vancouver to a Babine First Nation mother and Czech father, and things only got more interesting when throughout her early childhood she experienced a keen sense of gender dysphoria. She began her transition at age 14, and completed reassignment surgery at age 19.

#11 Amiyah Scott

Raised in New Orleans as Arthur, it didn't take long for Amiyah to realize that she really wasn't like other boys. Family acceptance was tough to come by, but she fought hard anyway, and by the age of 17 the transition was done. New Orleans welcomed this flowering beauty with open arms, and gave her a lot of confidence.

Her parents later accepted her and reaffirm their unconditional love.. This was just the morale booster that the young star needed. The second big and beautiful thing came in 2015, when Bravo's hit reality TV show, Real Housewives of Atlanta, asked her to appear on the show.

#12 Janet Mock

She travelled to Thailand when she was 18, in the middle of her first year at college, to complete the process. Janet describes her early life as difficult. Recounting her early feelings at the age of five, she said that "It felt amazing to be in a dress. But suddenly my grandmother appeared, a look of horror on her face. I knew immediately that I had crossed some kind of line." She would cross that line again and again until it became irrelevant and she could become who she was inside".

#13 Gigi Gorgeous

Gigi Gorgeous, born Gregory Lazzarato, scorchingly beautiful and supremely powerful. At only 25 years old, with a million You Tube subscribers and 2.5 million Instagram followers, Gigi has the world at her feet.

Only a few information are known about her early childhood in Canada, apart from the fact that she was a nationally ranked diving champion while she was a teenager. She identified as a gay male when she moved to George Brown College to study fashion, but by that time her You Tube videos of makeup tutorials were already exploding in popularity. 

She left college to focus on those, and by 2013 was the year she turned herself to a full female.

#14 Jake Zyrus

Jake, formerly known as Charice Pempengco, shot to international fame in 2007, when he appeared on Ellen DeGeneres' show. In the years that followed, he would perform for former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, guest on Orprah Winfrey's show, and be mentored by David Foster. 

But in 2013, Jake publicly came out as a lesbian and clarified in interviews over the years that he identifies as male.

#15 Kim Petras

At the time she was 13 years old, and she was already planning to have the reassignment surgery by the time she was 16. There was only one problem: German law forbids it until you are 18.

Kim fought the law, and for once the law didn't win. She got her way, and on her 16th birthday, she announced that everything was complete. It didn't change anything for how she saw herself, but just confirmed a truth she knew all along. "I was asked if I feel like a woman now - but the truth is I have always felt like a woman - I just ended up in the wrong body."

#16 Trace Lysette

Not much is known about her apart from the fact that she medically transitioned by 2002, she never told anyone she was trans during auditions, and lived in constant fear of an "outing".

#17 Aydian Dowling

Aydian Dowling, the 29-year-old who did just that. Every year, Men's Health do a reader's poll to find an exemplary man they can put on their front cover.

In 2015, just five years after he began hormone replacement therapy, Aydian decided to put his hat in the ring, and his popularity just exploded. As the competition neared its end, Aydian had close to 100,000 votes. She sadly did not win because of policies that forbids it. 

#18 Laura Jane Grace

She suffered from gender dysphoria. She would skip school and cross dress at home, leading to a "binge and purge cycle" and feelings of immense guilt. Even when she formed Against Me! and married Heather Hannoura, the struggle was always there, and always real. She could never escape this feeling of "misalignment", of being born in the wrong body.

Lastly the moment came in 2012, when Laura was 32. She confronted her feelings head on and came out in public as a transgender female, a moment that was equal parts cathartic and tumultuous. She has had some surgery since then, but remains apprehensive about any so-called "bottom" surgery, saying ultimately that it's "perfectly valid to never undergo bottom surgery."

#19 Jackie Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis herself acknowledged that she was born an inter sexual (the preferred medical term for persons of ambiguous gender, replacing ‘hermaphrodite’).

So the real question here is, she or isn't he?

No one but Ms. Curtis, her parents, and her doctors has the definitive answer to this question, and none of them is talking.

#20 Yasmine Petty

She began her transition from male to female as a freshman in high school. She would like to wear girls dresses. She suffered from dysphoria which would not let her accept as a male. 

#21 Wachowski sisters

Lana and Lilly Wachowski are known as talented Hollywood film directors and as transgender siblings. Lana Wachowski, born Laurence Wachowski, was the first to open up about her gender identity in 2012. “For years I couldn't even say the words ’transgender’ or ’transsexual’. When I began to admit it to myself, I knew I would eventually have to tell my parents and my brother and my sisters. This fact would inject such terror into me that I would not sleep for days,” Lana said in one of her interviews.

Lana’s brother Andy, now known as Lilly Wachowski, came out as a transgender woman in 2016.

#22 Fallon Fox

Fox came out in 2013 to Out sports after receiving a phone call from a journalist trying to find out if she was trans. "For years I've known at some point it's very likely the shoe would drop," she told the publication at the time.

The MMA competitor endured a long struggle with her gender identity after being born Boyd Burton - a boy. Fox struggled to break away from her ultra-conservative family and married her girlfriend when she was 19.

When she came out to her parents 12 years ago, they tried to convince her she was a gay man and sent her to gay-conversion therapy. But their plan backfired - as soon as "treatment" ended, Fox started her transition.

After spells in the US Navy, in college, and as a truck driver, Fox had saved up enough money to travel to Bangkok for gender reassignment. 

#23 Alexis Arquette

Her brother Richmond, who wrote:

"She fiercely lived her reality in a world where it is dangerous to be a trans person - a world largely unready to accept differences among human beings, and where there is still the ugliness of violence and hostility towards people that we may not understand... where she was going, there was only one gender."

#24 Caroline Cossey

She says: “In the 1980s, being transgender was like a death sentence – it still can be in certain countries.

“So when you had your surgery, you just put your head down and got on with your life. When I was outed, it was like I had been fooling everybody but that’s not how it was. I was treated like a criminal, like a hunted animal. I was destroyed overnight.

“At one personal appearance I was in the bathroom when a big guy pushed his way in. He closed the door and said ‘Don’t worry, I’m not going to do anything, I’m a fan’.

"Then to my absolute horror he assaulted me. I couldn’t speak, I was in shock. It was devastating and it upsets me to talk about it to this day.

“Experiences like that should never have happened. No one had the right to out me as being transgender but things were different back then.

“There was nothing I could do and my life was in tatters so I ran away. I hid from the limelight because it was the only way to feel safe.

"But things have changed and I look at other trans women in the public eye, doing well for themselves and commanding respect. I am finally ready to come back and hold my head up high.”

Caroline, transitioned from male to female when she was 20.

#25 Wendy Carlos

In 1968, Wendy Carlos brought electronic sounds into the mainstream.

Carlos was also born a biological man (né Walter Carlos), and started transitioning in 1968, but continued to publicly perform and present as a man for more than a decade. She finally came out as a transgender woman in a 1979 Playboy interview, picking Playboy because, "the magazine has always been concerned with liberation, and I'm anxious to liberate myself."

#26 Renee Richards

Richards was a tennis player who underwent sex reassignment surgery in 1975 and later became an eye doctor. She also coached Martina Navratilova to two Wimbledon victories. 

In her 2007 autobiography, Richards expressed regret over the type of fame that came with her trans-sexuality — but did not regret transitioning gender. 

On Aug. 2, she was inducted into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame.

#27 Andreas Krieger

Andreas Krieger is a former German shot putter who once competed on the Women's East German Athletics Team. He was involved in a scandal when it was revealed he had been unwittingly dosed with anabolic steroids. 

Krieger later completed a course of hormone therapy and transitioned to male, indicating that he had felt a longing to be identified as male long before the accidental hormone exposure, although he resented not having more control in his own transition process.

#28 Balian Buschbaum

Balian Buschbaum is a former German pole-vaulting champion. He competed during the early 2000s under the name Yvonne, but announced his retirement in 2007, partly due to his wish to begin undergoing hormone therapy, and undergo surgical transition to become fully recognized as male.

#29 Parinya Charoenphol

Parinya Charoenphol is a Muy Thai boxing champion, as well as a model, singer, and actress. She initially competed against male fighters, but announced her retirement from kick boxing in 1999 to complete her transition and become a singer.

#30 Christina Kahrl

Sports is a particularly dangerous area for transgender people, but the ESPN sportswriter made the transition without losing her job. “Baseball geeks are all kinds,” she said in 2005. “”Baseball geeks can be anything from a roofer, to, well, a transsexual.’’ In a 2011 speech, she said that she realized in fifth grade that “I'm in the wrong bin. I was crushed, but I did not tell my girlfriends on the playground. Later, I did not tell my fraternity brothers in college, or my fellow Teamsters in my first job out of school.’’ Now she’s open with all about her identity; she calls it “the diplomatic mission of a lifetime.”

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