15 Transgender Actors Making Waves in Hollywood

In a landscape craving authenticity and diversity, transgender actors are making their mark on Hollywood. Through their talent and courage, they’re not only challenging norms but also facing backlash with grace, turning it into an opportunity for dialogue and education. Here are 15 transgender actors who are reshaping how the world sees gender and identity in the media.

1. Laverne Cox

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Known for her role in “Orange Is the New Black,” Laverne Cox became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. While she’s faced criticism and transphobia, Cox uses her platform to advocate for transgender rights, turning negativity into powerful conversations about acceptance and equality.

2. Elliot Page

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Elliot Page, acclaimed for his roles in “Juno” and “The Umbrella Academy,” came out as transgender in December 2020, receiving widespread support for his bravery. Despite facing online harassment, Page continues to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, using his high profile to highlight issues facing the trans community.

3. Indya Moore

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As one of the stars of “Pose,” Indya Moore has brought visibility to trans people of color. Their portrayal of Angel has been met with critical acclaim, though they’ve encountered transphobia and exclusion. Moore leverages their experiences to speak out against violence and discrimination, becoming a powerful voice for change.

4. Hunter Schafer

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Before her acting debut in “Euphoria,” Hunter Schafer was an activist challenging bathroom bills in North Carolina. Schafer’s role as Jules has been praised for its nuanced depiction of a transgender teen’s life. Despite facing personal and public challenges, she continues to inspire and advocate for transgender youth.

5. Daniela Vega

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Chilean actress Daniela Vega starred in “A Fantastic Woman,” which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, making her the first openly transgender presenter in Academy Awards history. Vega’s performance and advocacy have opened doors for more inclusive representation, despite facing societal prejudice in her home country and abroad.

6. Brian Michael Smith

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Known for his role on “9-1-1: Lone Star,” Brian Michael Smith is one of the first openly transgender actors to play a trans character on network television. While embracing his identity has led to positive change and visibility, Smith acknowledges the ongoing struggle against discrimination in and out of the industry.

7. Alexandra Billings

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With a career spanning decades, Alexandra Billings from “Transparent” has been a pioneering transgender actress and activist. Despite early challenges in finding roles that weren’t demeaning or stereotypical, Billings has seen a shift toward more authentic representations, though she emphasizes the battle is far from over.

8. Isis King

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Isis King gained attention on “America’s Next Top Model” before moving into acting with roles in “When They See Us.” As one of the first openly transgender people on reality TV, King faced public scrutiny but has used her platform to advocate for transgender rights and inclusion.

9. Jamie Clayton

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Jamie Clayton’s performance in “Sense8” was hailed for its groundbreaking portrayal of a transgender character’s life and relationships. Clayton has spoken out against Hollywood’s casting practices and the need for authentic transgender representation, challenging the industry to evolve.

10. Jen Richards

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Jen Richards, co-writer and star of the web series “Her Story,” has used her visibility to challenge stereotypes and push for more nuanced transgender narratives. Facing both support and backlash, Richards emphasizes the importance of trans stories told by trans people.

11. Amiyah Scott

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Amiyah Scott made history as the first transgender woman to star in “Real Housewives of Atlanta” and “Star.” Scott’s journey has been met with both acclaim and adversity, highlighting the challenges and triumphs of being a transgender actress in today’s media landscape.

12. MJ Rodriguez

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MJ Rodriguez’s role in “Pose” has been groundbreaking, earning her critical acclaim and a Golden Globe nomination. While Rodriguez has faced discrimination, her success marks a significant step forward for transgender actors of color in leading roles.

13. Chella Man

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Chella Man, known for his role in “Titans,” has been open about his deafness and transgender identity, using his platform to advocate for accessibility and LGBTQ+ rights. His work challenges both audibility and gender norms, promoting inclusivity in media.

14. Zackary Drucker

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Zackary Drucker, a producer and actress on “Transparent,” has utilized her work to explore the intersections of gender, sexuality, and identity, pushing back against transphobic attitudes while championing the need for more trans stories in entertainment.

15. Angelica Ross

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Angelica Ross’s performances in “Pose” and “American Horror Story” have made her a prominent figure in transgender representation on screen. Ross has navigated both support and backlash with resilience, using her influence to address issues of race

Empowering Change

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Through their talent, resilience, and activism, these 15 transgender actors are not just redefining roles; they’re reshaping the entire landscape of Hollywood. 

The post 15 Transgender Actors Making Waves in Hollywood first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / lev radin.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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