Big strides have been made for LGBT+ rights, equality and awareness in the last couple of years, says Amy Botterill. But the main thing that’s been happening since marriage equality is that transgender awareness is becoming more and more prevalent
While there have obviously been transgender celebrities and icons, the real beginning of this recent wave of awareness was Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover in June of last year. Whatever you might feel about her, she put transgender people and their rights at the forefront of the discussion.
But, we’re not here just to talk about Caitlyn. We’re here to talk about the up and coming transgender men and women to watch in 2016/17.
If I could credit every worthy transgender person who is either fighting for trans rights with activism, showing their support, or just giving hope to young people struggling with their gender identity, I would. But I would be here all day and I could probably fill up an entire magazine with that list. These people are but a small sample out there of the transgender people to watch in the coming years, but they certainly have opportunities to become strong voices for trans people, as well LGBT+ and their allies in their respective fields.
She is probably one of the more well-known names on this list, but the stunning Laverne is still overlooked a lot. Many know her from the amazing Orange is the New Black, but she has shown herself to be a smart, well-spoken woman who hasn’t been afraid to speak out and support critical issues for trans people. You can find her on social media, and enjoy her talent as an actress on Orange is the New Black, which has a new season soon.
Aydian is perhaps someone you might have missed, but he almost made history last year. He took part in a competition to be on the cover of Men’s Health in the US, and, if he had made it, he would have been the very first trans man to be on the cover in the US. Even though he didn’t win, Aydian came an impressive second! He also has a Youtube channel BeefHeads Fitness and a clothing line, Point 5cc.
Laura Kate Dale
Unless you’re into your video games, you probably haven’t heard of Laura. She is one of the up and coming names in games journalism and critique, and has earned a name for herself by being very outspoken, intelligent and presenting well thought out arguments. Laura also isn’t afraid to call out game developers and other critics on their nonsense.
She is a champion for better characters in general, but also the inclusion of trans characters in games. If you’re looking for a unique voice in gaming with an interesting perspective, check out LauraK. You can find her at LauraKBuzz pretty much everywhere.
This young trans model did actually make history, and it’s actually in a similar vein to Aydian: he became the very first transgender model in Germany to be on the cover of Men’s Health, making him the first trans man to be on the cover of a European issue. Ben is also a trans activist, has a blog and can also be found on social media. Ben is certainly a man to watch in the next couple of years. He’s off to a good start and could certainly go on to do even more.