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Want some trans singers and musicians in your playlist? We got you

Robyn Exton

Mar 26, 2023

Want some trans singers and musicians in your playlist? We got you
  • Looking for some trans and nonbinary representation in the music industry?

    Well, you’ve come to the right place. Famous transgender singers and musicians are killing it in the music world!

    Some are more niche, known best in the trans community, but others have burst onto the mainstream music scene as famous trans singers 🏳️‍⚧️✨

    Trans pop stars

    The pop music industry has long been dominated by cisgender performers. But things are changing, thank the heavens. Talented transgender artists are making waves and breaking barriers. These trailblazing musicians challenge the gender binary with their unique perspectives and experiences. Let’s check out a few of the top trans pop stars.

    Is Kim Petras a trans woman?

    Source: Gay Times

    Yes she is! No article about trans pop stars would be complete without Kim Petras. She’s a German singer, songwriter, and model. She gained an international audience in 2017 with her debut single, “I Don’t Want It at All.” Ever since, she’s been endlessly stanned for her catchy pop songs and her powerful voice. 

    Kim came out as a trans woman in 2017, and has become an iconic role model for many young trans people since. She’s spent a lot of her career raising awareness about some of the challenges faced by the trans community, as well as to speak out against discrimination and violence. 

    Some of Kim’s most popular songs include “Heart to Break,” “Icy,” “Sweet Spot,” and “Malibu.” Kim was nominated for the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Music Artist in 2020. She has collaborated with many artists, including Charli XCX and SOPHIE.

    Kim Petras has been a trailblazer for the trans community, and we know that her music will continue to be a source of inspiration and empowerment for many trans folks across the globe for eons to come. 

    Teddy Geiger is a transgender artist you won’t want to miss

    Teddy Geiger is a stand-out singer and songwriter. She’s making headway into the heart of the music industry writing for major pop stars including One Direction, Maroon 5, and Lizzo. Geiger co-wrote the hit song “Stitches” for Shawn Mendes — which became a massive success and helped launch Mendes’s career.

    Her debut single, “For You I Will (Confidence) — about being there for someone you care about and doing whatever it takes to make them feel loved — will grab you by the heartstrings. This still remains one of her most popular songs. How could it not be with lyrics like this:

    “Forgive me if I st-stutter from all of the clutter in my head

    Cause I could fall asleep in those eyes

    Like a water-bed

    Do I seem familiar? I’ve crossed you in hallways a thousand times

    No more camouflage, I wanna be exposed

    And not be afraid to fall”

    In 2017, Geiger came out as transgender in a reply to a fan on an Instagram post saying, “Okay… because u [sic] asked nicely… I am transitioning. I started talking about it with a couple of my close friends and family about a month ago and it’s given me the courage to start the process. I feel like the next step is to tell all y’all. So here goes. Love it or hate this is who I have been for a looooong time. I love u [sic] guys. Talk sooooon byeeee.” She has shared her journey publicly and continues to be an inspiration to many in the LGBTQ+ community.

    SOPHIE’s music lives on

    Source: Page Six

    This Scottish musician and producer started making experimental pop music in the early 2010s. Sophie’s music  — which pioneered the hyperpop style — is boldly experimental. She played with heavy electronic and dance influences, innovative sound design, unconventional song structures, and unapologetic themes around gender identity and expression. She’s known for songs like “Bipp,” “Lemonade,” and “It’s Okay To Cry,”

    After coming out in 2017, SOPHIE used her platform to advocate for trans rights and visibility. She collaborated with the fashion brand COS to release a limited-edition t-shirt collection in 2018. All proceeds supported the nonprofit Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund.  

    SOPHIE’s sudden death in January 2021 sent shockwaves through the music industry and the LGBTQ+ community. As a trans woman herself, SOPHIE’s music and presence served as a beacon of hope and inspiration for many in the trans community — making her death all the more devastating. Trans people took to social media to share their grief and pay tribute to SOPHIE’s legacy. Her music helped so many people come to terms with their own gender identities. And her loss created a seismic shift in the community.

    Everyone held their breath waiting to find out the cause of her death. Unlike so many trans people who die by suicide, overdose, or violent crime, SOPHIE died a fully accidental death, falling while climbing up to see the full moon. The lyrics to “It’s Okay to Cry” hit differently now:

    “I, was that a teardrop in your eye?

    I never thought I’d see you cry

    Just know whatever hurts, it’s all mine

    It’s okay to cry (it’s okay to cry)

    I can see the truth through all the lies

    And even after all this time

    Just know you’ve got nothing to hide

    It’s okay to cry (it’s okay to cry)”

    Anohni broke the Oscar nomination barrier

    Source: NYLON

    Anohni is an English singer, composer, and visual artist who came out as a trans woman in 2016. She is known for her distinctive and haunting voice, which has been compared to singers like Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. Her soulful, emotional, and introspective music captures the complexities of human emotions.

    One of Anohni’s most popular songs “Hopelessness” gives voice to the darkness that lurks in the hearts of so many members of the trans community:


    I feel the hopelessness

    How did I become a virus?

    I’ve been taking more than I deserve

    Leaving nothing in reserve

    Digging till the bank runs dry

    I’ve been living a lie”

    If you’re feeling down enough to have a cry sesh to this song, make sure and reach out to a friend or someone who can support you. This is dark and haunting stuff.

    Some of Anohni’s most popular songs include “Hopelessness,” “4 Degrees,” and “Drone Bomb Me.” Her music often deals with social and political issues — including climate change, war, and gender identity. Anohni has won several awards, including the Mercury Prize and the BRIT Award. Anohni was the first openly transgender performer nominated for an Academy Award with her song “Manta Ray” from the film Racing Extinction. 

    Wendy Carlos — the OG transgender woman singer

    Source: The Guardian

    The title of First Trans Pop Star belongs to Wendy Carlos, a pioneering electronic musician. She transitioned publicly in the 1970s when trans people were even less accepted than today. Wendy is best known for her groundbreaking album “Switched-On Bach,” which ushered her into the music world. She was an electronic music pioneer, known for her use of the Moog synthesizer. She even wrote the soundtrack to the classic Stanley Kubrick film “A Clockwork Orange,” if that’s not the most iconic thing you’ve ever heard of then I don’t know what is. 

    Wendy Carlos has three Grammy Awards and was the first openly trans Grammy winner. A queen. In the early days of the modern LGBTQIA+ rights movement, she made her voice heard for trans people everywhere. Carlos has inspired countless others to break down barriers and pursue their own dreams.

    The music industry has long been dominated by cisgender artists, but these groundbreaking trans singers are changing that. They’re breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes making space for trans voices and stories to be heard. These singers have inspired countless individuals in the trans community — giving them hope and encouragement to be their authentic selves and pursue their dreams, no matter how challenging it may seem. The future is bright for trans artists in music, and with these incredible singers leading the way, the possibilities are endless.

    Robyn Exton

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

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