These Are Our 2015 Transgender Community Heroes
These people are killing it for the cause
Today marks the release of ‘Tangerine’, the film that took this year’s Sundance Film Festival by storm, and not just because the whole thing was shot on iPhones (seriously). ‘Tangerine’ is also groundbreaking in terms of its casting and representation of the transgender community.
Starring transgender actors Mya Taylor and Kiki Rodriguez (both of whom were plucked straight from LA’s “unofficial red light district” by director Sean Baker), the film has been causing a stir for giving a voice to a community that is still sadly largely absent from film.
As ‘Tangerine’ represents such positive progression for transgender people in the media, we thought we’d take a look at a few of our other heroes for the cause this year. Check out these awesome people making noise for the transgender community:
Mya Taylor & Kiki Rodriguez
Obviously, first up are Tangerine co-stars Mya and Kiki. Since its premiere, ‘Tangerine’ and its cast have received widespread praise and even sparked the first EVER transgender Academy Award campaign, with both Taylor and Rodriguez on course for nominations. Not bad for what is basically both of their first movies.
Laverne Cox, who plays Sophia Burset in Orange Is The New Black, is a woman of many firsts. She was the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy, the first to produce and star in her own show (TRANSform Me), the first to be on the cover of TIME… You get the picture, she’s amazing. This year she broke more ground by being the first openly transgender person to get a waxwork in Madame Tussauds, and even featured in Time’s 100 most influential people list. Basically this year Laverne has continued to smash it.
Okay so this one isn’t actually a real person, but who says our heroes have to be real!? Alysia Yeoh is Batgirl’s awesome transgender roommate in the Batgirl comic book series and this year she made history by having the first comic book transgender wedding ever. Besides from being a massive landmark for transgender representation, the wedding was also completely adorable and if you missed it you should go and read it, now!
Where to start!? From the cover of Vanity Fair to Glamour’s Woman of the Year, Caitlyn Jenner has been putting the spotlight on the transgender community left right and centre this year. As the head of probably the most famous family in the world Caitlyn has got people talking in the way only a Jenner can.
Chaz, son of Cher and Sonny, has been speaking out for transgender rights for years, most notably in his 2011 book ‘Transition’. Caitlyn has sited Chaz as a big influence and inspiration in her own transition and this year they teamed up on ‘I Am Cait’ to meet with children wresting with their gender identity and help them to understand who they are. Dream team.
Jazz Jennings turned 15 this year and in those 15 years she has done more for the transgender cause than just about anyone out there. Named last year as one of TIME’s 25 most influential teenagers, Jennings launched her own reality TV show this year ‘I Am Jazz’. The show follows her life as a transgender youth and showcases the fact that basically nothing can stop her from being who she is.
All Is Fair in Love and Wear
Having raised over $25,000 on Kickstarter, All is Fair began the launch of an amazing project earlier this year to ensure that those in transition can “reframe and reform without limitation”. All Is Fair is a clothing line tailored to the specific needs of transgender people ensuring that everything from binders to casual wear is as “attractive as the people who wear them”, watch this space.