10 Trans Influencers You NEED To Be Following

Let’s celebrate the beauty of Trans Life together and give a shout out to the following Trans icons!

When I see the word “transgender” on my timeline, I proceed with caution. My initial instinct is to cringe and ask, “What horror has befallen my community today? Whose life has been tragically cut short by transphobia — hatred based on ignorance?” But today, thankfully, that isn’t the case. You don’t have to hide your eyes and wonder who was victimized, because today, on Trans Day of Visibility, we celebrate the Transgender people thriving and making this world a better place. Being you is an act of defiance when the world wants everyone to fit in a box. Transitioning is different for everyone, and every journey is unique, so let’s celebrate the beauty of Trans Life together and give a shout out to the following Trans icons!

1. Zaya Wade 

 

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Dwyane Wade — known for his prolific basketball career with the Miami Heat — and wife Gabriella Union’s children were in the news in February supporting their newly transitioning daughter, Zaya. Dwyane shared the news on “Ellen,” and the podcast “All The Smoke.” Zaya, 12, took the courageous step to open up about her gender and her family’s open-hearted reaction made waves. Her brother, Ziare, shared his feelings of support and encouragement for his sister’s transition through an emotional Instagram post, saying “you’re my best friend and I love you kid.” This support sets an amazing example on how to hold up a family member going through a transition.

2. Nikkie de Jager

 

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I’m coming out. 💖 link in bio!

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Beauty YouTuber Nikkie de Jager, aka NikkieTutorials, gave us a tutorial on much more than makeup this year. With a flawless face that we are so used to seeing, she took the brave step to let the world know she is a transgender woman. It is unfortunate that she felt she had to come out due to threats to out her, but she turned the hate into an opportunity to educate and inspire young trans people to be themselves. Her 17 minute long coming out video tells of Nikkie’s journey and how she feels about her successful career. She encouraged watchers to “live your life, with no restrictions” and has a message of hope for 2020 being more accepting to all people and bodies.

3. Trisha Paytas (Relax, I’m just kidding) Jamie Raines

 

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When Trisha Paytas came out as transgender on her YouTube channel, much of the trans community was disappointed but not surprised. Trans people are often the butt of a joke, and the punchline always feels like a punch. In the wake of Trisha’s misguided statements, Trans YouTube reacted. JammiDodger, sometimes known as Jamie Raines, is a Trans YouTuber who is well known in the community for providing support and advice through his videos. He has documented much of his transition, as he has been making videos for years. His own experiences are now available to know what to expect from Top Surgery, Bottom Surgery, and marrying a cisgender heterosexual woman. His reaction to Trisha was full of love and understanding. It’s not easy to understand the complexity of trans lives if you are not in the community, and he gives the benefit of the doubt that Trisha just didn’t understand how damaging those words were. I respect Jamie for using this as an opportunity to spread love and support to the trans community.

4. Leo Sheng, Brian Michael Smith, and Thomas McBee from “The L Word: Generation Q”

We wouldn’t be GO if we didn’t use this opportunity to mention “The L Word: Generation Q.” Trans actors Leo Shang and Brian Michael Smith are portrayed as people, not caricatures, with jobs and lives and families who do not make a normal dinner out a weird metaphor with murderous lobsters (looking at you, Max). Leo Sheng plays Micah, a transgender Asian-American social worker who has a will-they won’t-they relationship with neighbor José. Brian Michael Smith plays Bette’s campaign manager Pierce Williams. Thomas McBee worked behind the scenes as a writer on the show to ensure the depiction of trans characters was more authentic this time around.

5. Sophie Giannamore and Jamie Clayton from “The L Word: Generation Q”

Jamie Clayton, known for playing trans character Nomi Marks on “Sense8” plays Lex, a bartender and recovering alcoholic at Shane’s bar. Lex, often the voice of reason, ended the first season in a messy situation with Finley. I can’t wait to see her character’s redemption as she starts as a fan fave for her strong convictions.

Giannamore, known for her appearance as young Maura on “Transparent,” plays Angelica’s friend/love interest in “The L Word: Generation Q.” From the first season, it does not appear that her character will be transgender, but anything is possible.
According to LGBTQ Nation, “While it’s unclear whether Jordi or Tess will be trans characters, both could help the show repair the original series’ messy take on trans identity.” I personally think having one or more of the trans actors on “The L Word” play cis characters (or characters whose gender journey is not explicitly stated) would be a good thing.

6. Shea Diamond

 

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“I Am Her” singer released her single “Don’t Shoot” on June 7th, 2019. The song incorporates political themes of the gun violence epidemic while also exploring her identity as a Black trans woman. Diamond wrote “I Am Her” while incarcerated for robbing a convenience store, a desperate act made to afford gender-affirming surgery. She was in an all-male correctional facility for 10 years, where she found her voice according to Billboard.

Songwriter Justin Tranter has worked alongside Diamond, cosigned her to Asylum records, and co-wrote her EP “Seen It All” in 2018.

7. Gigi Gorgeous

 

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Forbes calls her a Digital Star, GO calls her and her partner The Lesbian Couple Of The Digital Generation, The New York Times calls her something I couldn’t see because it was behind a paywall. Gigi Gorgeous Getty graced the cover of GO Magazine with her partner Nats Getty in February 2018. The transgender star has documented her journey for YouTube fans for years, sharing the highs and lows of transitioning while keeping her positive attitude throughout. It made headlines when she fell in love with her best friend’s sister, Nats, a member of the Getty oil family. The two hit it off immediately and repaired the wounds life leaves on queer people who don’t feel understood. Gigi’s positive influence on the trans community and her inspiring love story give queer people everywhere hope for everlasting love and full acceptance.

8. Blaire White

 

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Perhaps a controversial pick for this list, Blaire White represents the voice of trans conservatives in the media. She is known for voicing her opinions, having respectful and productive dialogues with those who disagree with her, and promoting trans awareness. She’s made videos on topics such as trans people being able to use the restroom that matches their gender and trans people being able to serve (in a restricted capacity) in the military, and she refutes claims that a trans person attacked a child in a restroom (which she states is a fear-mongering tactic of reporters). She also makes videos exposing child molesters, a la “To Catch A Predator.”

9. Nikita Dragun

 

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Hot, sexy, fly, and beautiful Nikita Dragun graces us with her presence on YouTube, Instagram, and in my personal fave, mukbangs with her “dysfunctional family.” Through her pristine makeup application and creativity, she sells her own makeup line DragunBeauty. Through her hilarious personality, she sells an even deeper image. With 2.64 million subscribers, Nikita is blossoming as a trans icon who openly shares her experiences and successes with followers.

10. Nikolas Toner

 

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He’s hot. He’s smart. He writes. He’s so MODEST (wink). Check out his articles for GO Mag.


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