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8 trans actors who are living out loud in Hollywood

Robyn Exton

Mar 26, 2023

8 trans actors who are living out loud in Hollywood
  • Lights, camera, action! Trans actors are taking the entertainment industry by storm and shaking things up like never before. They’re challenging traditional gender roles and pushing for more inclusive representation. You can find trans actors on the big screen, in smaller indie films, and on hit shows.

    Trans actors are showing up on screen to share their stories and bring fictional trans characters to life. They’re giving a voice to an underrepresented community and educating audiences on trans issues. We love trans actors and trans celebrities — so here’s to the trailblazing trans actors who are paving the way for future generations and making history one role at a time!

    Trans actors you won’t want to miss

    Get ready to be blown away by the incredible talent of trans actors who are breaking barriers and making their mark in Hollywood!

    Join us in celebrating and supporting the trans actor community by checking out some of our favorite trans actors on the big and small screen. Trust us, you won’t want to miss out!

    Laverne Cox 

    Source: EMMYS

    Laverne Cox is a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood! Best known for her groundbreaking portrayal of Sophia Burset in Orange is the New Black — Laverne’s character stole the hearts of viewers with her resilience and strength while navigating the challenges of being a trans woman in prison. 

    In 2014, she made history as the first openly trans actor ever nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in the acting category, paving the way for greater representation and acceptance of trans performers in the industry. Today, Laverne is still making waves as the host of E!’s Live From The Red Carpet, where she brings her trademark wit, charm, and style to interviews with some of the biggest stars in show business.

    We are living for her captivating performances and her fearless attitude towards being true to herself. As a trailblazer and role model for the LGBTQ+ community, Laverne is showing us all how to live our best lives and be proud of who we are.

    Elliot Page

    Source: Esquire

    If you’re looking for a superhero played by a trans male actor, check out The Umbrella Academy. Elliot Page plays superhero Viktor Hargreeves. He has the ability to convert sound waves into a destructive force — so watch out!

    Elliot has spent decades in front of the camera. But The Umbrella Academy gave him the opportunity to play a trans man, which made tender queers worldwide extremely emotional and happy. Elliot has racked up nominations and awards, including an Oscar nomination back in 2008. 

    He came out as trans in an Instagram post in 2020 saying, “I love that I am trans. And I love that I am queer. And the more I hold myself close and fully embrace who I am, the more I dream, the more my heart grows and the more I thrive. To all the trans people who deal with harassment, self-loathing, abuse and the threat of violence every day: I see you, I love you and I will do everything I can to change this world for the better.”

    Hunter Schafer

    Source: BRIEFLY

    Hunter Schafer is known for her portrayal of the character Jules in Euphoria — an openly trans teen confident in her identity. But she’s not just making waves in the entertainment industry. Hunter teamed up with her father to challenge an anti-trans bill in the state House in New Jersey in 2016. Talk about a power duo! With their combined efforts and passion, they helped bring attention to the importance of protecting trans rights and fought to ensure that everyone in their community had the same opportunities and freedoms. 

    Hunter is an advocate for telling the stories of trans characters without making their transness the central point. In an interview with Variety she said, “there need to be more roles where trans people aren’t just dealing with being trans; they’re being trans while dealing with other issues. We’re so much more complex than just one identity.”

    Actor from Pose

    Set in the 1980’s and 1990’s, this 3-season series follows the lives of Black and Latinx trans and queer people in the New York ballroom scene. Pose is a celebration of life and chosen family in the shadow of the AIDS crisis. 

    Trans WOC — who have been historically marginalized and missing in the media — take center stage. The show, which premiered back in 2018, features the largest cast of transgender actors in series regular roles. Pose has been celebrated for its groundbreaking representation of the LGBTQIA+ community.

    Pose has snagged several awards, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Billy Porter’s brilliant portrayal of Pray Tell, the ballroom MC. Pose is a celebration of life, love, and resilience, and it’s a must-watch for anyone who wants to see trans stories told with respect and dignity.

    No article on trans actors could be complete without honoring the trans icons who shine like diamonds in this must-watch series.

    MJ Rodriguez

    Source: Variety

    MJ became the first trans performer nominated for an Emmy in a major category for her role as Blanca in Pose. Blanca is mother of the House of Evangelista, a safe haven for LGBTQIA+ people shunned by society. Blanca guides her “children” through life’s challenges while pursuing her own dreams. She’s strong, resilient, and dedicated to her chosen family.

    MJ went on to make history again as the first openly trans actress to win a Golden Globe for Best Television Actress in a Drama Series. 

    Indya Moore

    Indya Moore is known for her role as Angel Evangelista on Pose. Angel is one of the most lovable characters on the show, her character is a young trans woman who dreams of becoming a model. She’s charming, funny, and full of life. 

    Before this groundbreaking role, Indya was a famous trans model. They made history as the first openly trans and non-binary person on the cover of Elle. Indya Moore is a fierce advocate for trans, non-binary, and other marginalized communities. With their passion, talent, and dedication, Indya is changing the face of Hollywood and paving the way for a more diverse and representative entertainment industry.

    Dominique Jackson

    Source: Time Out

    Dominique Jackson was born in Tobago and moved to the U.S. in 1990 when she was 15. She’s a model, activist, and author of the memoir The Transexual from Tribago. But you probably know her as Elektra Abundance on Pose — the queen bee of the ballroom scene. Elektra is fierce, unapologetic, and always brings the drama. She’s known for her extravagant outfits, her sharp tongue, and her killer walk. And her one-liners are pure gold. 

    Hailie Sahar

    Source: ENEWS

    Born in Los Angeles, Ca, Hailie performed as a SparKid dancer for the WNBA Sparks. She was crowned as both “Miss L.A. Pride” and “Queen U.S.A.” She’s acted in musicals and tv, but is known by Prose fans as Lulu Ferocity. Lulu has incredible dance moves and a fierce attitude. She always brings her A-game to the ballroom competitions. 

    Angelica Ross

    Source: AP NEWS

    Angelica Ross is an actor, producer, activist, and founder and CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises — a firm that helps employ transgender people. To Pose fans she’s known as the hot-tempered, quick-witted Candy Ferocity.

    Candy is a total firecracker! With her vibrant personality and fearless attitude, she’s a force to be reckoned with. Known for her sharp tongue and no-nonsense approach to life, Candy never backs down from a challenge or lets anyone stand in her way.

    Despite the obstacles she’s faced, including being disowned by her family and struggling to find her place in the world, Candy never gives up. Her resilience and determination are truly inspiring, and she serves as a role model for anyone who has ever had to fight for their dreams and their right to be themselves. With her fierce spirit and unwavering confidence, Candy is a true icon in the trans community and beyond.

    We want more roles by trans actors

    Trans actors are changing the game in Hollywood. They’re breaking barriers and smashing stereotypes while they showcase their talent. Gender identity should not limit one’s opportunities — and these actors are out to prove it. They’re taking on complex and diverse roles, highlighting the trans experiences, and showcasing their range as actors. 

    Trans actors are setting the stage for more diversity and inclusivity in entertainment. With each successful performance, they not only open doors for themselves but for future generations of trans performers. These actors are paving the way for more diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry. And we’re here for it!

    Looking for a safe place to connect with other trans people? HER has you covered. Check out the HER app for a safe space to be yourself and connect.

    Robyn Exton

    Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER. Find her on Twitter.

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