Star’s Amiyah Scott is a bona fide trans trailblazer – why isn’t she better known?

Image shows transgender TV star Amiyah Scott, she is Black and has rainbow coloured hair.

Most people know the name of Laverne Cox: the first out transgender person to play a trans major character in a US scripted drama series (Orange Is The New Black). But what about Amiyah Scott?

Amiyah Scott (36) played Cotton Brown on the Fox musical drama series Star, which first aired in 2016. With the premiere of the series, she became the third openly trans person to play a trans character – after Laverne Cox and Jamie Clayton, who starred in Sense8.

Scott was also the first-ever transgender cast member to ever appear on Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise: she was added to the Atlanta cast in 2015. She filmed with the cast for four weeks; sadly – and despite her addition to the cast being hailed by the media – her scenes were never aired.

But while Cox and Clayton’s stars have continued to rise (Jamie Clayton famously played Pinhead in the 2022 remake of Hellraiser, and Laverne Cox is the current host of E!’s Live From The Red Carpet awards show), Amiyah Scott sadly isn’t a regular on our TV screens at the moment.

Just who exactly is Amiyah Scott, what is she up to at the moment, and does she have a partner? Here’s everything you need to know about this unsung hero of transgender TV representation.

Who is Amiyah Scott?

Amiyah Scott was born on January 11, 1988, and is an American actress, model, author, and dancer with a notable presence on Instagram.

You may like to watch

Hailing from Manhattan but raised in New Orleans, Scott is open about the fact she faced bullying during her adolescence. At the age of 15, she left home to pursue fame, fortune and job opportunities, and has since been a respected member of the LGBTQ+ ballroom community and a member of the Haus of Maison Margiela.

Scott gained internet fame through YouTube videos showcasing her performances in ballrooms. Her “Insta-fame” skyrocketed after sharing a before-and-after photo illustrating her transition. She’s known for her brightly-coloured wigs, makeup and fashion sense. She says that her greatest stylistic inspirations have been Rihanna and Lil’, Kim. She met Rihanna in 2016.

In 2015, she made history as the first transgender woman to join the cast of The Real Housewives of Atlanta for its eighth season. However, Scott left the show, citing concerns about the producers wanting to exploit her trans identity. Bravo producers later claimed that it was because she wasn’t ‘interesting’ enough.

Following her departure from Housewives, she entered the acting world, securing a role in Lee Daniels’ series Star, where she played transgender character Cotton from 2016 to 2019 and acted alongside Queen Latifah who played Cotton’s mother, Carlotta.

What has Amiyah Scott been doing since 2019?

Amiyah Scott has been busy serving as a motivational speaker and activist, saying that she is “dedicated to amplifying the voices of transgender women.”

Her presentations are focused on addressing bullying, promoting self-esteem, and fostering self-acceptance.

Recognised by GLAAD at an Atlanta event, GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis commended Scott for using her talents to uplift transgender women of colour and educate the public on transgender issues; she was presented with the Rising Star award at GLAAD’s Atlanta gala. She has also been involved in politics, joining voices with fellow activists like Laverne Cox and Janet Mock to criticise some of the Trump administration’s policies.

Does Amiyah Scott have a partner?

If she does, she’s keeping it quite close to her chest. In the past, she’s been romantically linked with Micah Dixon, with the pair both appearing together at events on the red carpet, but it’s thought they are no longer together. More recently, she’s been rumoured to be in a relationship with Andre Johnson: a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist based in Los Angeles. 

No matter what she’s doing at the moment, or who she’s dating, we’re very grateful to Amiyah Scott for the vital trans representation she brought to our screens with her excellent performance in Star.

Please login or register to comment on this story.