Monday, November 18, 2013

TransMusePlanet's annual top 20 most Influential Trans-people of 2013

By Sabrina Samone, TMP

               It's that time again TMP readers. Last year on November 18th I wanted to show respect and acknowledge those within the Transgender Community who were visible and outspoken leaders within our culture. I had just began blogging and as I do now, I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing, but last years post of Transmuseplanet's Top Ten most Influential Trans-people of 2012, put me in direct contact with most on the list and became one of the most popular and most shared post on Transmuseplanet since.
          To celebrate the one year anniversary of TransMusePlanet, I've decided to make this an annual listing on this date for as long as I can sit at a desk and type. It is important that those who stand their ground, are visible and speak for the rights of all of us to be appreciated by the community and at least here at TMP.
            Though this list is a top 20, it is by no means to be taken as a ranking of importance, for all on this list and any Trans-person reading this, who lives their lives on their own terms are contributing to the visibility of what it means to be Trans. We are all influential heroes. Over the past year, those that are mentioned were discussed here on TMP in my blogs or their contributions to the Trans Community were shared on Transmuseplanet media; TMP facebook, TMP Daily Dispatch, TMP on Tumblr or TMP Google plus.  Their frequent mentions on these pages earned their spots on this list.
             I hope you enjoy the listing and if your are not familiar with these leaders within our community, that you do take the time to educate yourself on the great contributions that they have made for all our sakes. Their names are linked to their websites and links also have been given to any work of theirs you'd like to check out.

At least 238 Trans-people have been murdered worldwide this year. Brazil and Mexico took the lead with the most murders. The United States came in with 19 murders and in Jamaica, one of the most horrific of all the murders took place when a 16 year old Trans-girl was murdered by a mob at a house party.

TMP would like to recognize those who lost their lives for simply having the desire to be who they feel they are. Their deaths will never be in vain, their blood screams to the world daily; we exist…we matter!

238 of our Trans-brothers and sisters will be memorialized and remembered as always on the International Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20st 2013.

  Laverne Cox: Is a Transgender actress, reality star and advocate. She first gained national attention as a contestant of the first season of VH1’s I Want to Work for Diddy. She has also appeared in several television series. This year she became one of the most discussed Transgender women in film with her role as Sophia Burset on the new hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black.
   Janet Mock: Remains one of the most outspoken Trans Activist of our time. She is a writer, transgender rights advocate and the former staff editor of People magazine’s website. GBM News named her one of the “15 Most Powerful LGBT celebrities of 2012.” This year Mock joined the Board of Directors of the Arcus Foundation; a global foundation dedicated to social justice activism. On February 4, 2014 the anticipated release of her novel, ‘Redefining Realness’, goes on sale and can currently be pre-ordered through her website,

  Mel Wymore: May have lost his bid for first Transgender NY City Council person but it was a heck of a race and gained Mel Wymore national and critical recognition in the media. He appeared often as a spokesperson of today’s political Trans-people on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perryshow. Mel came in a very close second and continues to receive major support from within and outside of the LGBTQ community.
   Chaz Bono: Has continued to make his mark as more than Cher’s Transgender son, but a man with his own voice in American pop culture. He was without at doubt the most discussed and featured Transgender person in media in 2013. His documentary ‘Becoming Chaz, continues as a favorite among Trans documentaries. He is a writer, musician and now reality celebrity since his appearance on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

Carmen Carrera: is a transgender reality television celebrity, model and burlesque performer, who has appeared on the RuPaul’s Drag Race. She came out nationally as more than a drag queen but as a transgender person and shined a light on the division within the gay community between drag performers and transgender women. She is currently gaining national recognition as an online petition has been created to make her the first Transgender Victoria Secrets model.
Jazz: The soon to be 13 year old Jazz is without a doubt the most known among Transgender youth. She first appeared nationally in a Barbara Walters special for 20/20 on Transgender youth. The show was so popular and became sort of a cult classic for other Transgender Youth that Barbara Walters herself revisited, five years later, the story of Jazz. She continues to be one of the youngest Transgender activists and was recently the youngest to receive the GLAAD award.

Kristen Beck: is a former Untied States Navy SEAL, who gained national attention this year when she came out as a Trans-woman. Her memoir; Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL’s Journey to Coming out Transgender was released the summer of 2013 and catapulted the conversation of Transgender people in the military to the front of the table. Today nearly every Transgender Rights organization is fighting to make acceptance of Transgender people in the military the final chapter in letting all who wants to serve their country, have the right to serve openly and freely. Currently LGB may serve, but Transgender people are still discriminated against in the military.
9.       Arin Andrews / Katie Hill: The story of teenage Transgender high school sweethearts was one of the most talked about stories of the year. Arin a Trans-man and Katie, a Trans-woman. Trans-men and women falling in love is not  rare, but because of their age and their struggle became focal point of Trans-love; relationships between transgender people and opened up a not so talked about option in Trans dating. Their story was first carried by online magazines world-wide and later featured several times on 20/20.

 MonicaRoberts: is without a doubt the most influential Trans-blogger in the world. Her readership, at Transgriot, is in the millions. She is one, if not the most, respected Transgender bloggers, activist and speakers of our time. She is outspoken on the issue of race relations within the Transgender and greater LGBTQ communities. She also is one of the greatest opponents we have against the TERF’s; a group of Neo-Nazi racist and Transphobic lesbian groups.  Her commentary goes well beyond the Transgender spectrum as she is also one of the best critics of the Republican Party within our community and keeping the Trans and LGBT community afloat on those in the political arena that stand against us.
11.   Aurelius Mark Angel: if the Mayor of Charleston West Virginia was asked who his favorite artists are, one of the names would more than likely be Aurelius. He is one of the most featured and respected artist in the city of Charleston, W.V. His greatest contribution to the community actually is the one few know about. Three years ago, like most states that have a template on Transgender persons gaining legal documentation within their state, West Virginia also required SRS. For most Trans-men this is not a successful and fulfilling option.  With the help of Lamda Legal, Aurelius Mark Angel sued the state of West Virginia to create a new statement concerning legal documentation for Transgender Persons and helped to re-write that statement. Today West Virginia Trans-people who become sterile through surgery are considered the legal sex that they identify with and may receive legal documentation. He is also founder and owner of Olympian Bodies personal training group; providing sports nutrition and fitness inside and outside of the community.

Mark Angelo/Jessica Cummings: are pioneers of the Trans blog talk circuit. Their blog talk radio and show, TransitionRadio, covers the who’s who of the Transgender community. They are regulars on documentaries about Transgender persons on National Geographic and Discovery Channel. They are celebrities of the South Florida LGBT scene and major Transgender activist.
Ryan Cassata: is a musician and public speaker. A trans-man, he speaks at high schools across the country. Speaking against bulling and educating on gender identity disorder. In the past he’s appeared on the Larry King show and today his music fan base is growing rapidly. He has been compared to the likes of John Lennon, Bob Dylan and continues spreading the message of universal love and respect.

14.   Carla Delgado Gomez: is a Canadian-Spanish actress. She is also a respected LGBT rights activist who maintains a large support website for Transgender people. She is also a politician who is serving in the Madrid Assembly, the first Trans-person to serve in a legislature in Spain.
  April Ashley: continues to be a major influence in Transgender culture. As an English model, she was one of the first British people to be outed as Transgender, by the Sunday People in 1961. She continues at the age of 78 as one of the most influential Transgender people in the world and continues to advocate for visibility of all Trans-persons.

Cheryl Courtney-Evans: is an Atlanta based activist and blogger. She is one of the most influential Transgender commentators, activist and outspoken LGBT leaders in the Atlanta Georgia area.
17.   Kokumo Kinetic: is a major up and coming Trans-media mogul with KOKUMO Productions; a black Trans* film, video and theatre production company. She is also an activist and Jazz musician in and around the Chicago Jazz scene.

   Toni Newman: gained national attention with her tell all book, I Rise-The Transformation of Toni Newman, where she details sexual encounters with several hip-hop celebrities like L.L. Cool J., during her time as a Transgender sex worker. Through her determination she earned a law degree and now is an advocate for Transgender Equality.
19.   Ryan Sallans: an out and proud Trans-man, advocate for LGBT rights and author. He travels the nation speaking at Universities and to youth about the life of a Transgender person. His novel ‘SecondSon: Transitioning Toward my Destiny, Love and Life’, continues as a favorite among the ftm community.

Amy Leigh Garbati: is the Transgender rights activist that is single handedly putting South Carolina on the map as the state to watch in the coming years to tackle the issues of Transgender people. In a state that once dare not mention the word Transgender, Amy along with her wife Nancy have placed it on the greater LGBT community advocacy table and demanding that our voices be heard. She advocates for all LGBT in the state to work together and has since been awarded by the SC Equality, the leading LGBT rights organization within the state for her work through out the state. She and her wife Nancy also heads the Charleston Area Transgender Support group.

                                                                HONORABLE MENTION
                         (Other outstanding Transgender people making a difference)
    Randi Wileman  : Activist
    Bravo Kilo : Activist for Trans-military inclusion
   Rebecca Adomaitis: Blogger
   Briana Lynn Taylor: Administrator and activist
   Tye West: Activist, head of Texas Chapter of BlackTransmenInc.
  Claire Sweet: IT specialist and motivationalist at Claire Sweet's Happy Thoughts

   Teri Louise Birdsong: Activist

    Veri Veri Unique: Entrepreneur and activist

    Meggan Sommerville: Trans-Christian blogger

     Nuala Anaïs Shields: Activist

       Most important mention, YOU; every Transgender Man and Woman that dare to live there life with their heads held high. Thank each and everyone of my brothers and sisters, that through your lives we are making the world just that much better for those that follow.

                                         RELATED TOPICS ON TRANSMUSEPLANET


                 2013 Maybe the year of the T
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