Trans Awareness Week: 33 trans people who’re loud, proud and making the world a better place

To kick off Trans Awareness Week (13 to 19 November), we are honouring just some of the trans, non-binary and gender-diverse people who are making the world a little brighter.

During Trans Awareness Week, the trans community and its allies highlight the difficulties faced by trans people around the world, from political attacks to violence, as well as lifting up and celebrating those fighting for progress and raising awareness.

Trans Awareness Week is celebrated around the world each year, and is held in the lead up to Transgender Day of Remembrance on 20 November, when we remember trans people lost to global transphobic violence.

Here are just 33 of the countless trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people whose existence makes this world a better place.

Alok Vaid-Menon. Author, poet, performer, performer, public speaker. Vaid-Menon shares in-depth information around LGBT+ issues and gender while advocating to ‘degender fashion’ to their over one million followers on Instagram

Angelica Ross. Actress, Navy veteran and tech CEO. The Pose star is a long-time advocate for the trans community, founding an company that helps employ trans people in tech, TransTech, in 2014 after teaching herself to code.

Audrey Tang. Tang is first-ever digital minister of Taiwan. They are non-binary and have described themselves as “post-gender”.

Brian Michael Smith. The groundbreaking actor made history as the first Black trans man to be cast in a regular TV role when he was signed on to play Paul Strickland on 9-1-1: Lone Star. Smith was named one of People’s “sexiest men you can watch on TV now” (100 per cent accurate). He recently spoke out against the “tyranny” of anti-trans bills making their wave across state legislatures across the US. 

Brian Michael Smith, a Black trans actor, wears a purple shirt and darker purple tie with a white suit jacket

Brian Michael Smith attends the Human Rights Campaign 2022 Los Angeles dinner on 12 March 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage)

Chase Strangio. The trans ACLU lawyer who fought and won a landmark Supreme Court case in 2020 that gave federal workplace protections to gay and trans workers for the first time.

Demi Lovato. Musician and actor. Lovato came out as non-binary in May and has proudly spoken about how they believe they will be on a lifelong journey concerning their gender identity

Dylan Mulvaney. TikTok star who, with their series “Day … of being a girl”, uses their platform both to shed light on issues facing trans people in the US, and to “spread joy”.

Dylan Mulvaney

TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney. (Getty/ JC Olivera)

Eddie Izzard. Genderfluid comedian turned politician, whose identity has been weaponised by politicians across the UK. She has announced her bid become the Labour MP for Sheffield, and recently told PinkNews that her wider “world vision” is one where everyone “has a fair chance in life”, adding: “I think the Labour Party are in agreement with that and that’s what we’re pushing for. This government is not.”

Elliot Page. Actor, advocate and is arguably the most famous trans person in the world right now. Page came out publicly in December 2020 and has shared beautiful insights about their gender journey with fans. The Umbrella Academy star has also fiercely denounced attacks against the trans community in the US.


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Emira D’Spain. TikTok star and the beauty director at Paper. The beauty influencer is known for sharing her glamorous looks and bubbly personality on social media, attracting over 11.7 million fans on TikTok. D’Spain made history in February as the first Black trans model to work with Victoria’s Secret. She marked the collaboration with a sultry Valentine’s Day look which was just amazing.

Brazil has elected three trans politicians. (Getty/Duda Salabert/Robeyonce Lima)

Erika Hilton, Duda Salabert, and Robeyoncé Lima. Three politicians who, following Brazil’s congressional elections, became the first ever trans members of parliament in the country. Hilton, Salabert and Lima represent a turning tide in Brazil, which recently voted out its viciously anti-LGBTQ+ leader Jair Bolsonaro. 

Freddy McConnell. Journalist, dad and trans man has fought to legally be named the “father” or “parent” on his child’s birth certificate. He has starred in a trailblazing documentary, which details the struggles of LGBT+ families against a lack of legal recognition by the British government.

Hailey Davidson. Pioneering Scottish trans golfer, who this year became the first trans woman in the world to join the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour.

Hikaru Utada. The iconic Japanese-American pop star came out as non-binary in a candid livestream with fans last year, which was an amazing moment for any queer, diehard Kingdom Hearts fan. Utada said in a recent interview that it “was like a gift” when they “came across the term non-binary for the first time”.

Indya Moore. Actor and model. The Pose star has consistently used their platform to advocate for the trans and non-binary communities as well as to speak out against racism. Moore also also raised tens of thousands of dollars for sex workers and trans women of colour in need. 

Jonathan Van NessQueer Eye star, hairdresser, author and activist. Van Ness has been open about their journey as a non-binary person since coming out publicly in 2019. The Queer Eye icon has been vocal about his support for the LGBT+ communitybreaking barriers and speaking out against anti-trans sentiment whenever possible. She is also releasing a new book Observations from a Gorgeously Queer Life, a candid collection of essays about her life, next month. 

Kai Shappley. Young trans activist, actor, diehard Dolly Parton fan. Shappley has been passionately fighting for trans rights and has given powerful testimony of the horrific impact that continued legislative attacks in Texas has had on her life. She was recognised as a finalist for Time’s “Kid of the Year” award for her dedication to battling against the state’s anti-trans bills. 


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Kumi Yokoyama. The football star broke barriers last year after coming out as a trans man, becoming the highest profile athlete in Japan to do so. Yokoyama has shared beautiful milestones in his personal life including getting engaged and eventually marrying his beautiful partner. They have also spoken about the state of LGBT+ rights in Japan, saying the country is “lagging behind the rest of the world” on such issues.

Lennon Torres. The Dance Moms alum came out publicly in an adorable dance-filled video on TikTok, just in time to celebrate Pride Month last year. Torres told PinkNews that she wanted to share her journey on social media to help other young people who might be questioning their gender identity. She shared that her life is “very much guided by what a younger self or a young person would need to see” – which is just amazing.

Leyna Bloom. Actor and model who made history as the first trans woman of colour to be featured in Sports Illustrated‘s swimsuit issue.

Lia Thomas. Trans swimmer who made headlines around the world after making history as the first trans woman to win an NCAA swimming championship. Thomas has faced relentless transphobia in the media, but still managed to smash several sporting records and was nominated for NCAA’s Woman of the Year award. 

Mercury Stardust. TikTok’s “Trans Handy Ma’am” will not only help put a smile on your face, but she will probably also help solve any DIY questions that you’ve frantically asked Google at the last minute. She also recently helped raise over $117,000 for American healthcare provider Plume, helping trans people access life-saving gender-affirming care.

Michaela Jaé Rodriguez. Actor and singer. Rodriguez has had a whirlwind year after making history as the first-ever trans actor to win a Golden Globe, and she was recently named one of Time magazine’s “Women of the Year”

Michaela Jaé Rodriguez stares into the camera while wearing a white coloured dress

Michaela Jaé Rodriguez attends Elton John AIDS Foundation’s 30th Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party on 27 March 2022. (Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage)

ND Stevenson. Cartoonist, animation producer, author. Stevenson is well known for his work on She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and for creating hit graphic novel series Lumberjanes as well as Nimona. They also regularly post about their experiences with gender, mental health and more through their Substack project I’m Fine I’m Fine Just Understand.

Quinn. The trailblazing Canadian football star made history as the first openly trans Olympic medal winner at the Tokyo games last year and has without a doubt inspired countless young people to follow their own Olympic dreams.

Dr Rachel Levine. Assistant secretary for health, four-star admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Levine was the first trans federal official confirmed by the Senate and the first openly trans four-star officer across any of the nation’s eight uniformed services. She was also recognised as one of USA Today’s “Women of the Year”.

Remington Johnson. Presbyterian minister, healthcare professional, trans advocate. The Austin-based reverend has tirelessly fought on behalf of the trans community in Texas and across the country amid a rising number of anti-LGBT+ legislation in the US. 

Reverend Remington Johnson speaks at a rally in support of trans youth

Reverend Remington Johnson speaks at a rally. (Brad Pritchett)

Shon Faye. Journalist, podcaster and author whose book, The Transgender Issue, made waves last year. Iconic girlband Little Mix proudly declared “everyone should read this”.

Tommy Dorfman. The 13 Reasons Why star shared with the world that she is trans in a powerful interview, ‘reintroducing’ herself “as a woman”, with Time magazine in July. Dorfman opened up in a later interview about the power of transitioning and said she was “never genuinely happy” until she began her journey. She’s also used her massive following on social media to advocate for the LGBT+ community.

Yasmin Finney. The trans Heartstopper actor has shot to fame since the wildly popular series debuted on Netflix this year. She has been candid about the difficulties associated with growing up as a trans kid in a transphobic world, and was recently unveiled as one of the cover stars for British Vogue’s December issue. 

Zaya Wade. The daughter of Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade who has inspired trans teens and their families worldwide since coming out. Zaya met Michelle Obama in 2021, and she recently discussed the importance of supporting LGBT+ youth amid the rise of discriminatory laws across the US with Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider.