Today is the International Day of Transgender Visibility, a day we take each year to celebrate the transgender community and raise awareness of discrimination they face. This day was created by trans advocate Rachel Crandall, who recognized that most of the stories we were hearing about the transgender community were about violence and loss. She wanted to celebrate transgender life instead — and transgender stars like Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox, and Jazz Jennings have played a huge role in making that happen.
Last year, Orange Is The New Black Star Cox shared an emotional message on Instagram with her fans: “On this Trans Day of Visibility, I want to affirm that we are more than enough, that we are anointed, we are beautiful and powerful…On this Trans Day of Visibility, we declare that we have always been here and that we refuse to return to the shadows. We are not a threat to your existence. We can all live and love here together.”
In keeping with that idea, GLAAD and Instagram launched social media campaign #TransLoveStories this year, featuring a series of transgender love stories on IGTV and encouraging others to participate by tagging #TransLoveStories.
“Because of the discrimination trans people face, not everyone can be visible today,” said GLAAD representative Alex Schmider. “But we believe campaigns like this are part of creating a world where every trans person can be accepted, loved, and celebrated for who they are.”
We’d like to celebrate our favorite transgender celebs today, and all the incredible work they’ve done in their community. Here are 13 celebs you should definitely have on your radar.