In honor of International Women’s Day earlier this march, I wanted to take a moment to highlight transfeminine people both locally and around the world.
Special collaboration: Alex Simon is an American-born and Montreal-based student interested in LGBTQ+ and trans realities. They themselves being non-binary, they proposed the idea to GrS Montreal of writing articles on their blog TransAvenue.
In honor of International Women’s Day earlier this march, I wanted to take a moment to highlight transfeminine people both locally and around the world. Whether it be for their activism or their social and cultural involvement, these individuals stood out over time and deserve to be recognized.
- Florence Ashley is a jurist and bioethicist from Montreal. Their thesis at McGill university pertains to conversion therapy regarding gender identity. They are the first openly trans clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada, have won a multitude of awards and scholarships and have had their academic work and personal interviews published in several newspapers, magazines and journal articles.
- Kama La Mackerel is a Mauritian-born multi-disciplinary artist based in Montreal. They have created and hosted local initiatives such as GENDER B(L)ENDER, Qouleur Festival and Our Bodies Our Stories. They have had artist residencies in places like Mai-Montreal and in Halifax, and have presented their work both nationally and internationally, such as in Toronto, Vancouver, New York, Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris.
- Dalia Tourki is a Tunisian trans advocate and public educator living in Montreal. She is a staff member for Montreal’s Center for Gender Advocacy and is one of the main advocates spearheading the current trial fighting for the rights of trans migrants, trans youth and non-binary individuals in the province.
- Gigi Gorgeous is a Canadian model, YouTuber and socialite from Montreal. Her channel features vlogs, fashion and lifestyle tips. She has partnered with many celebrities over the years such as Miley Cyrus and Adam Lambert on a variety of projects, such as music videos and LGBTQ+ activism. In 2016, she was detained in Dubai for being a transgender woman, despite her passport saying “F”. After an outcry of support on social media, she was released after five hours of detainment.
- Vivek Shraya is a Canadian writer and musician. Her discography consists of seven albums and has written over half a dozen books including I’m Afraid of Men and Death Threat. She is currently on the board of the Tegan and Sara Foundation as a director.
- Marci Bowers is an American surgeon and gynecologist. She is the first trans woman to have performed gender affirmation surgeries, and she currently practices in California. She also performs Clitoral Restoration surgeries free of cost for those who have undergone genital mutilation.
- Lana and Lilly Wachowski are American directors who produced many Hollywood hits like the Matrix series, V for Vendetta, Cloud Atlas, Jupiter Ascending and Sense8. They both came out as transgender when each of them was in their mid-forties, respectively.
- Jacob Tobia is a writer, TV producer and LGBTQ+ rights activist. Their memoir Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story, gained international praise. They were the face of a beauty campaign for the company Fluide and have been featured in several television shows such as MTV’s The T Word and voiced a character in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.
- Aaron Phillip is a black, transgender and disabled model from New York. The 19-year-old has already gained popularity on social media, and has modeled for Paper Magazine.
- Janet Mock is an American writer, producer and trans rights activist. She currently is an editor for Marie Claire magazine, and has written two memoirs about her life experiences.
- Indya Moore is an American model and actor. They have done modeling gigs as a teen with Dior and Gucci, and currently plays in the hit TV series Pose. They are also the first transgender person to appear on the cover of the U.S edition of Elle magazine.
- Shea Diamond is an American R&B and soul singer. Her songs and activism often speak of her experiences as an incarcerated trans woman of color and issues like the gun violence epidemic in the United States.
- Laverne Cox is an actress and LGBTQ+ advocate from the United States. She is the first openly trans actress to be nominated for an Emmy, for her role in the show Orange is the New Black. She is also the first openly trans person to be on the cover of Time magazine.
- Alok Vaid-Menon is an Indian American performance artist and writer. They have several gender-neutral clothing lines, published written works, done live performances and have been invited to numerous events as a public speaker. They advocate notably for body diversity, challenging gender norms, ceasing to gender the beauty industry, countering transmisogyny and systemic racism.
- Nikkie de Jager is a Dutch makeup artist also known by the name NikkieTutorials on YouTube. She came out publicly as trans on YouTube in early 2020, and subsequently appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Her beauty and vlogging channel currently have over 13 million subscribers.
- Kim Petras is a pop singer born in Germany, and she has several Billboard-charting hits. Her medical transition as a teen was covered internationally by the media, given that transitioning at a young age was not well known at the time.
- Parinya Charoenphol is a Muy Thai (Thai boxing) fighter, model and actress. She opened a boxing camp and aerobics class for children in her home country. Her story is portrayed in the 2003 movie Beautiful Boxer.
- Harisu is a pop singer, model and actress from Korea. She is the first entertainer to come out as transgender in the Republic of Korea, and one of the first individuals to legally change their gender marker.
- Travis Alabanza is an English performance artist. Their theater piece Burgerz toured the UK in 2018. They often use their social media platforms to criticize transphobic elements of modern feminism and encourage acceptance of gender nonconformity.
- Georgina Beyer is a New Zealand politician. She became the world’s first openly trans mayor (1995) and member of Parliament (1999). She is also one among few former sex workers to hold office in a political setting.