The famous transgender people featured in this list are featured because they made a stir, in one way or another.

Amazing trans people have existed probably as long as human societies have existed. Only its not always something that we find out about, being as its not really anyone's business but their own.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, the only ones we can remember are the ones who came out or were outed, this list contains a small number of these bad-ass people who prove that trans isn't a trend.  

Trigger warning: Some of the source material contains triggering language. History and historians themselves can be quite transphobic.


Eleanor Rykener trans person from history

1. Eleanor Rykener

The oldest entry on this list, Eleanor Rykener. Records exist for this Eleanor from 625 years ago but its not clear when she was born.

In 1394, she was arrested in London for prostitution and sodomy. There is not a lot of information about her since she lived such a long time ago, but this is what we do know:

She presented female and worked as an embroiderer and a barmaid (typically only jobs held by women) as well as a sex worker. She had relationships with men and women, but mostly men.

Eleanor’s identity has been erased or categorised by cis/het historians who refer to her male name being used on some court documents. As if medieval court clerks are above dead-naming.

These boneheads claim that she was a straight man who cross-dressed for work.

The mind boggles at how they can reach that conclusion when she clearly was not cis and presented female for the trial (and her life). So in the interests of un-erasure she tops our list, and you should spread the word about her too.

Alan L Hart
2. Alan L. Hart

Alan L. Hart was a pioneering radiologist, physician and tuberculosis researcher. 

His greatest work was arguably when he discovered that x-rays could be used to detect tuberculosis, saving countless lives worldwide. 

He attended medical school while presenting female but transitioned soon after.

While working as a doctor at at a hospital in Oregon he was recognised by one of his former classmates who outed him and he was forced to leave.

This was not the only time this happened to Alan, and it began to take its toll on him.

Writing in his novel The Undaunted about a character called Sandy Farquhar, he wrote: 

"He had been driven from place to place, from job to job, for fifteen years because of something he could not alter any more than he could change the color of his eyes. Gossip, scandal, rumor always drove him on." 

He was also one of the first recorded trans men to receive gender affirming surgery in the US.

Lucy hicks anderson
3. Lucy Hicks Anderson

Lucy Hicks Anderson was one of the earliest recorded demonstrators for marriage equality.

She was born in 1886 in Kentucky. As a young child she told her parents she wanted to be a girl and go by Lucy.

They took her to the family doctor who told them to respect her choices and so she transitioned with their full support.

When she was older she moved to  California and married a man called Clarence Hicks and they operated a brothel together. They divorced in 1929 and she later married a soldier called Rueben Anderson who was stationed at Mitchel Field on Long Island, New York.

Perjury charges were brought against her because she signed the marriage document which swore that there were ‘no legal objections’ to the marriage. Speaking to the press she said “I defy any doctor in the world to prove that I am not a woman. I have lived, dressed, acted just what I am, a woman.” Sadly she was found guilty of perjury and later she was convicted of fraud because she cashed cheques she received from the government as the wife of a US soldier.

One eyed charley parkhurst

4. Charley Parkhurst

Charley Parkhurst, also known as One-Eyed-Charley was a famous American Rancher in the 1800s. He was born and raised in an orphanage in New England but he ran away and changed his name before he turned 18.

As many aspirational Americans did, he followed the Gold Rush out West and built a reputation as one of the greatest stage coach drivers running over Mt. Madonna on the West Coast.

He gained his nickname 'One-Eyed-Charley' after he was kicked in the left eye by a horse that had been startled by a rattlesnake.

Charley was only outed after his death.

Sir Lady Java

5. Sir Lady Java

Sir Lady Java who's still active today, rose to fame in the 1960’s as an entertainer and exotic dancer renowned for her perfect hourglass shape.

Born in 1943 she transitioned at an early age with the support of her mother and began dancing and singing in local nightclubs. In her twenties she moved to Los Angeles and became associated with stars like Redd FoxxSammy Davis Jr. and Richard Pryor.

She was performing at Redd Foxx’s famous club and it’s rumoured that her and Davis Jr. were a couple for a while.

In 1967 the LAPD began shutting down Java’s famous performances citing a local law prohibiting "impersonation, by means of costume or dress, a person of the opposite sex.”

In response she picketed the club and hired the American Civil Liberties Union to overturn the ruling. Eventually it was overturned in 1969 after a separate dispute with another party but she was instrumental in this change.

chevalier d'eon

6. Chevalier d’Eon

Chevalier d’Eon was an 18th century, French spy, diplomat and soldier. She had the genius idea to disguise her transgender identity, by coming out as transgender...

Bear with us it will make sense soon.

In 1728 D'Éon was born at the Hôtel d'Uzès in TonnerreBurgundy, into a poor noble family.

Assigned male at birth she excelled at school and in her military training and moved to Paris at an early age.

By 35 she had been knighted and gained a law degree, published books on the French tax system and become a celebrated fencer.

Following this she joined the Secret du Roi, the secret network of the kings spies and reported directly to Louis XV.

After years of service, she was passed over for a promotion so she published a tell all book of the secrets of the kings spies. 

In her later years she applied to be assigned female at birth, stating she was assigned male only to ensure she would inherit the family estate.

This genius ruse paid off and was accepted by the French and the British government - she was living in London at the time.

Her gender was made official and she lived her remaining years 33 years completely free to be herself. Oh and she was still a badass fencer too.

Willmer Broadnax

7. Willmer ‘Little Ax” Broadnax

Willmer ‘Little Ax’ was a talented gospel quartet singer in the 20th century. He was born in 1916 in Texas and was taken with music from an early age.

After moving to Southern California in the mid-1940s, Wilmer and his brother, William, joined the Southern Gospel Singers.

Later Willmer and William formed the Five Trumpets, they were both lead singers and Willmer was known for his powerful tenor voice.

Following this he performed with the Fairfield Four and the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi before forming his own group called Little Ax and the Golden Echoes.

He performed with his brother, who accepted and supported him, through his life. Willmers trans identity was discovered after his death in 1992.


These incredible, famous, transgender people show that there have been people like us throughout history, out and closeted who achieved great things. We have always been here and we always will.


Interesting article, but there’s no such thing as a ‘sex worker’ – sorry. That’s just the patriarchy using language to sugar-coat exploitation. It is ‘prostition’, hence money changing hands, pimps, trafficking, etc.

I’d say that people who are upset by the existence of trans people are the ones who have the problem. Their inner turmoil must keep them awake at night.

James on Feb 18, 2024

Proud? On what? Your gender? Only humans with a problem are proud on there gender orskin color. sexist and racist thats what you are and you want to put your brocken mind as noraml and good for humans. Do it with your own born kids. Ooooo you cant so maybe thats for a risen. Proud to be with, man, healty and not brain dead. Is my proud as good as yours?

Nein on Jan 01, 2024

You are destroying lives for your lies.
It is a atk on humanety. Stop it and start to think

Nein on Jan 01, 2024

Stop it. Our childer. Our live. Hold you lies. Stop the agender gender war on mankind.

Nein on Jan 01, 2024

Why you are pushing this?

Nein on Jan 01, 2024

Why are you destroying our future?

Nein on Jan 01, 2024

7 humans from history it is a trend and a problem

Nein on Jan 01, 2024

Interesting article though I’m confused as to what gender they were assigned at birth.

George on Jul 16, 2022

Thank you to articles like this !
As a transgender man, this gives me so much joy. I am proud to be who I am. They paved the way for their community.

Thoren on Jun 10, 2022

Okay. I have to say this because I’m disappointed, and frankly fed up with the Grandma/Grandpa comments seen and heard on many trans sites. It is offensively ageist and UNinclusive to assume that 1: Older people are against or can’t understand diverse gender or sexual identities, and 2: (and this is important) that there are NO trans elders in the LGBTI+ community. As I say, I am disappointed to see it published here and, had I not ordered from this site before reading this I may well have decided against doing so.

Tadj on Feb 07, 2022

This was a great article! Thank you this is going to really help me with my summer project!

Annabelle on Aug 04, 2021

I wish and hope trans people are happy. I know your road to acceptance is hard. I personally believe trans people are born with brains that tell them what gender they identify. For me it’s crazy and scary to be a trans person. Honestly I would hate being Trans. And why won’t trans people understand they were born with the body of their birth gender? I believe nature makes mistakes and that’s how it is.

Carla D McNeal on Jun 03, 2021

I wish you would have mentioned Amelio Robles Ávila who was a colonel during the Mexican Revolution.

Raygirl on Mar 13, 2021

Great article but the apologies to Grandma is peculiar? Why would you think Grandma doesn’t get it? Grandma may have dated trans people before you were even born!

Debbie on Feb 16, 2021

I am a 65 year old transgender female who is very proud of who she is my license plate is T GIRL 1
And also says No Hate In My State
And also Proud Supporter Of LGBTQ EQUALITY
And I have a bumper sticker the has
For Truth Justice And The American Way
And I also have light in the colors of the transgender flag on my car to the flash

Melissa Sue Sadzewicz on Feb 11, 2021

And of course Brigadier General Kasmir Pulaski, “The Father of the US Cavalry,” was intersex. Pulaski saved Washington’s Army from destruction at the battle of Brandywine and died in action at Savanna, GA during the Revolutionary War. He was renowned for his courage, audacity and superb horsemanship.

Ann M on Feb 10, 2021

While I much appreciate both the spirit and the content of this post I was a bit taken aback to see you use the phrase “perfect hourglass shape”. What do you mean? Perfect for whom? Perfect according to whom?

Craig Cressman Anderson on Feb 07, 2021

Embroidery as a profession was dominated by men in the UK in the14th Century. It was after the dissolution of the monasteries that it became a household craft assigned to women.
I’m not however disputing that Eleanor was trans, or attempting to diminish her in anyway.

Tara on Feb 07, 2021

And of course the many revered Two Spirit native american people.

SallieD on Feb 06, 2021

No, Queen Elizabeth I was indeed not a transgender woman.

Rumors speculated, at the time, that she was a “man in a dress” (speaking to their contemporary phrasing, transgender wasn’t a thing in their minds) by her enemies.

The thought process was, a woman isn’t smart enough to be the monarch, and she proved them quite wrong.
Men, however, couldn’t take being wrong so they justified (some things never change) and her enemies claimed she was actually a man, that’s why she wouldn’t get married, that’s why she “couldn’t” produce an heir.

She didn’t get married because she didn’t want to be a pawn in the political games and she didn’t want a man trying to, effectively, make a figurehead out of her, but mostly, she was in love with a man but they could never be married, and it’s generally accepted that she was actually rather not a virgin at all (she had a particular fondness for young guards…).

She’s labeled “The Virgin Queen”, because of sexism. Male monarchs could bugger whoever they wished, but the females (because bloodline purity, aka, sexism) couldn’t sleep out off wedlock, so they had to plaster “Virgin” all over because the idea of a woman being allowed to be a sexual being and choosing to be single, to this day, bothers way too many men.

She was a ciswoman (though, trust and believe, I would love nothing more than one of my favorite monarchs to be a transwoman), she just broke too many norms and refused to “comply” and they couldn’t stop her, so those who hated her had to “justify” with her being a man to explain their lack of control.

This article you posted lost me at “girlfriend had an era named after her!”, the author clearly knows nothing about the subject, because every monarch’s reign is labeled as “their era”, we’re currently in a second Elizabethan Era.

C on Feb 06, 2021

Queen Elizabeth maybe? Ever hear of the Bisley Boy?

Badger Bagbane on Feb 05, 2021

I would add “pretty” Billy Marshal minister of music from Los Angeles, Ca

Heather Knight on Feb 03, 2021

For your follow up article “7 More Famous Transgender People From History You Can Mention Next Time Someone Says ‘Trans is a Trend’” consider including Billy Tipton (

Lynne Sealy on Feb 03, 2021

I have taken estrogen since i was 22. Im 56 now. I had surgery to make my body match my mind! Let’s hear it for Trans Rights!

Audrie Siegel on Feb 03, 2021

A Crossdresser for many years of my life and very much enjoy i understand how these people felt live and let live xx

Pauline on Feb 02, 2021

Yet many are reviled and abused today still.

LizBiggs on Feb 02, 2021

May I add James Miranda Barry.

Jo casey on Feb 01, 2021

Interestingly useful info

Stevelap on Apr 10, 2020

Don’t forget Billy Tipton!

Eddy on Aug 14, 2019

Thank You for this biographical Posting of some very amazing people. As I read & try to feel what each one had went thru in their lives. I see self empowerment, dignity, & courage with each one. They all strive forward in their lives in identity in who they are, & with the belief that they should be equal to all in Society.

Pamala Natalie Flinn on Aug 10, 2019

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