Today, November 20, is Transgender Day of Remembrance – a day to remember transgender people who have died in anti-transgender violence. But, it’s also a day to appreciate the resilience of transgender people and celebrate their many accomplishments.
Check out some of the amazing transgender people our Youth Advisory Board are celebrating on this Transgender Day of Remembrance/Resilience.
Reminder: Transgender describes a person whose gender identity (maleness or femaleness) does not match their sex assigned at birth. For example, someone who is assigned female at birth who identifies as a man.
Chella Man is a 20-year-old deaf, transgender, Chinese, and Jewish YouTuber, actor, model, and activist. He plays Jericho, a mute super hero, in the second season of the DC Live Action series “Titans.” Chella created a space to share his unique voice on YouTube and is committed to being the role model he did not have growing up. “I think the point of being visible as a marginalized person is to bring up more people within your marginalized communities, because every single person has a different experience that you can’t always represent,” he said in an interview with the Huffington Post. When asked about what kind of actors should play what kind of roles, he said “hire someone who actually has the experience with that identity because there are so many marginalized people that aren’t getting the jobs. Until trans people are frequently cast to play cisgender roles and deaf people are frequently cast to play hearing roles, we deserve jobs and equal access to roles that are actually our identities.”
You can follow Chella Man on YouTube.
Laverne Cox is the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show. She has been featured on the cover of TIME Magazine, been nominated three times for an Emmy, for her role in “Orange is the New Black,” won a daytime Emmy for “The T Word,” and was one of Glamour Magazine’s 2014 Women of the Year. Laverne went from being gender nonconforming to being more and more femme during her college years. She initially felt shame about being trans, but that began to lift. “We are born as who we are, the gender thing is something that is imposed on you,” she states on her website. Laverne can also be seen in “Charlie’s Angels.”
Miles McKenna is a 23-year-old trans YouTuber who has been known to help teens figure out their own identities. He spent years trying to understand his own identity and documented the experience on his YouTube channel: MilesChronicles. Many of his viewers have felt empowered to be more open about his own identities. “I would rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not,” he famously stated on his Tumblr.
Indya Moore is a trans non-binary star of the TV show Pose. Indya uses both they/them pronouns and she/her pronouns. They were named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2019. Prior to their acting career, Indya modeled for major fashion lines like Dior and Gucci. “I don’t know who I am outside of someone who’s just trying to be free and find safety for myself and for others,” they said in an article for Elle Magazine. Indya has spoken out against cis people playing trans characters in the media. You can follow them on Instagram.
Eliot Fletcher is a 23-year-old trans actor. He came out as trandgender to his supportive friends and family when he was 17, and has since spoken out about transgender people. Eric can be seen in “Shameless,” “The Fosters,” and “Faking It,” and was included in Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2017. "I'm so tired of cis people playing trans characters — I'm gonna do it," he said in the series #FirstTimeISawMe by GLAAD and Netflix. He has been known to provide education to casting crews and change lines around during auditions that did not feel authentic to him.
Learn more about Transgender Day of Remembrance at Glaad and GSA Network. You can always learn more at TeenSource! This Transgender Day of Remembrance, share the stories of other trans people who you admire with us on Instagram @TeenSourceOrg!