24 Transgender Figures We Won’t Let History Forget


There have always been plenty of gay and lesbian historical figures,
but transgender history can be a little bit trickier to pin down. This is partly because the gender binary is so slippery to begin with. Are
there any transgender historical figures? How do we even determine, in
some cases, if a person from history was really transgender or not? If a
person from history had sexual or romantic relationships with people of
the same sex, then we know that person was probably lesbian, gay, or
bisexual. Gender expression can take more subtle forms, though, and
those forms are often influenced by cultural norms and assumptions about
what it means to be masculine or feminine. In Western culture, it has
not been uncommon for celebrities and public figures who express their
gender in unusual ways to be misunderstood, dismissed as mentally ill,
or otherwise marginalized.

Below is a list of transgender
historical figures from throughout LGBT history – people who were
assigned one gender at birth, and lived their lives (or parts of their
lives) conforming to a different one. Some of them were openly
transgender, some were genderfluid or nonbinary, and several kept their
trans identities secret, sometimes for their entire lives. A few of
these famous transgender people in history
are open to speculation, and in some cases, these people lived so long
ago, in times and places where gender was understood so differently,
that we may never know for sure whether they were truly “transgender” or

It’s definitely clear, though, that gender dysphoria and
radical gender variance aren’t just new phenomena being embraced by
trendy teenagers. Transgender and non-binary identities have been around
for awhile, even in cultures like America today, where they’ve
historically been considered abnormal, and sometimes unacceptable.

(list begins here)

24 Transgender Figures We Won’t Let History Forget

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