March 31, 2021, marks the annual Transgender Awareness Day. This holiday is meant to celebrate transgender individuals being seen as they are. Not as stereotypes have made them out to be.
This past year has seen incredible strides for the transgender community, with breakthroughs in media and politics. The following 5 figures are proud of their identity and have made their community more visible to the general public.
The one member of this list from the political world, Sarah McBride is the first openly transgender member of a state senate. She was elected in November 2020 to the Delaware state senate as a member of the Democratic party.
Her work in the Delaware state senate is historical. McBride’s goal is to encourage community advocacy whether for children, mental health, LGBTQ, or anyone else in need.
In December 2020, actor Elliot Page came out as a transgender man to the world. His work in previous films and media includes Juno and Netflix‘s Umbrella Academy. In an open letter, Page talked about what it meant to come out and begin his transition. Finally, Page feels as though he can live his life the way he always intended.
In his first interview post coming out, Page noted how even as a child, he wanted to be seen as a boy. As quoted by Page’s first interview with Time magazine, “I’m fully who I am.”
Brain Michael Smith
Fox’s iconic series 9-1-1 expanded into 9-1-1 Lone Star and features one of the most diverse casts for drama tv. This includes the character Paul Strickland, played by transgender actor Brian Michael Smith.
Hollywood has often run into trouble casting transgender characters with cis-gender actors. Thankfully, 9-1-1 Lone Star did the right thing and cast an actual transgender actor for the role. The importance of this role is the lack of stereotypes. Smith’s character is a hero and does not need to rely on his identity as trans to make his character interesting.
It is a breath of fresh air for transmasculine representation, especially for African-American transgender people.
Another show breaking stereotypes and showing the depth of transgender characters is FX’s Pose. This show highlights the struggles of queer people in the 80s and 90s. Many of the characters are played by queer actors, such as Indya Moore as Angel Evangelista.
Moore is a transgender actress who uses she/her and they/them pronouns. They also identify as nonbinary, meaning they don’t conform to one idea of gender. Moore’s work on Pose has helped increase representation for transgender and nonbinary characters.
HBO’s latest hit Euphoria has been incredibly popular tv. The show has been credited with great representation in the form of the transgender character Jules. She is played by transgender model Hunter Schafer.
Schafer is not only an incredible actress. She has been a professional model since 2017 for Dior, Calvin Klein, Coach, and more. Additionally, she is heavily involved with activism for the LGBTQ community. Time has named her in the 100 emerging leaders list accompanied by a tribute to her written by costar Zendaya.
Each of these transgender people has made contributions to the community in their own ways. They have opened themselves up to increase exposure and provide representation. As a result, more and more people have become comfortable with being out and proud of who they are.