Celebrating Transgender icons for Transgender Visibility Day

To celebrate International Transgender Visibility Day, we’ve put together a list of five transgender heroes making history around the world right now.

International Transgender Day of Visibility was started in 2009 by activist Rachel Crandall, who was disappointed in the lack of positive representation for transgender people in mainstream media.

Crandall recalled that anytime she heard about the trans community, ‘it [seemed] to be due to Remembrance Day’ and about ‘[trans] people getting killed.’

Unlike Trans Remembrance Day- which is observed on November 20th and pays respect to trans people who have lost their lives- Trans Visibility Day “focuses on the living” and intends to celebrate the progress of trans rights and individuals around the globe.

So, we’ve decided to honour that spirit and list some prominent transgender icons that are pushing the envelope and making a difference all across the globe. You may want to get your note pad out and start jotting this information down if you want to get fully educated – let’s jump in.

Georgina Beyer, New Zealand (she/her)

Georgina Beyer made history in 1995 when she became the world’s first transgender mayor after she was elected in Carterton.

In 1999, she went on to win a seat in the New Zealand Parliament as the world’s first transgender MP and helped pass the Prostitution Reform Act to protect the rights of sex workers.

Beyer was a keynote speaker at the International Conference on LGBT Human rights in 2006 and in 2020 was awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to LGBTQIA+ rights.

Titica, Angola (she/her)

Titica is the face of “kuduro” music, an Angola urban rap-techno fusion style.

Her name stems from the Portuguese word for worthless. She chose it in order to reclaim the verbal attacks she has faced as a trans woman.

Despite homosexuality being illegal in Angola, Titica is a music sensation in her home country, and across the globe. She’s played as Brazil’s Rock in Rio and collaborated with Brazilian drag queen and singer Pabllo Vittar.

As a leading LGBTQ artist and UN Goodwill Ambassador, Titica has used her platform to increase awareness of HIV, sexual health and issues in the LGBTQ community.

Chris Mosier, US (he/him)

In 2016, Chris Mosier earnt a spot on the Team USA sprint duathlon men’s team as the first out trans athlete to join the US national team.

He went on to successfully change the Olympic Committee’s policy on transgender athletes and in 2020 was the first openly transgender male to compete in an Olympic trial.

Other than his trail-blazing athletic career, Mosier has played an active role as a transgender activist, founding transathlete.com (a resource to make athletics more trans inclusive) and as the Executive Director of GO! Athletes, a national non-profit network of LGBTQ athletes.

AJ Clementine, New Zealand (she/her)

Instagram, Tiktok and YouTube content creator AJ Clementine is renowned for her activism for the LGBTQI community.

She uses humour and style to break down barriers and raise awareness for the trans community, and her own experience as a trans woman of Filipino heritage.

Her popular videos have attracted a huge TikTok following of over 903,000.

Lee Mokobe, South Africa (they/them)

Lee Mokobe is a South African slam poet and activist.

Mokobe came out as transgender during a TEDTalk they gave in 2015, in which they discussed their own struggles with gender identity.

Since then, they have helped found Vocal Revolutionaries, a not-for-profit that empowers creative African youth voices and whose works have been taught in university and college curriculums across the world.


This article was originally written by Georgie Morley. ‘I’m Georgie and I’m currently studying History at the University of Oxford. I am passionate about social change, particularly intersectional feminism and climate justice, and I enjoy engaging in these issues through volunteering, campaigning and writing.’ Visit her LinkedIn and view her Twitter.


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