Let’s Celebrate the Trans Celebrities Who Came Out This Year

Trans Day of Visibility

Happy Transgender Day of Visibility! Every year, we take this day to celebrate everyone who’s been able to openly live their truth. It’s even been set into American law as an officially recognized holiday (though that didn’t happen until President Biden laid it down in 2021).

Over the past year, we’ve seen a crop of Drag Race stars, streaming personalities, and other notables take a step into the light. For Transgender Day of Visibility, we are giving props to four out and proud celebrities. In no particular order, they are:

F1NN5TER, AKA Rose, AKA Jude (he/him currently, though he says that might change)

Streamer F1NN5TER Trans Day of AwarenessThe gaming streamer officially came out as genderfluid and bisexual in a playful video a month ago. What’s fun about his story is that he found his identity through his audience. F1NN5STER has dressed femme in the persona of Rose on his gaming channel for a long time now, and that attracted a growing audience of transfolks. As he interacted with them and heard their stories, he realized they spoke to him on a different level. 
 
In his video, F1NN5TER says he has been on HRT for a while now. He felt it was important to officially come out to avoid being “clickbait” or teasing the audience. I think it’s interesting that he came out ahead of Trans Day of Visibility – it does support his desire to be open and transparent. 
 
Congrats, and here’s hoping his channel doesn’t get flooded by trolls! (Any more than it already was, at least. Maybe less?)
 

Kris Tyson (she/her)

Kris Tyson Trans Day of Awareness
Kris has another name she uses among friends but has chosen to use Kris professionally for simplicity’s sake.

Kris Tyson has been part of MrBeast’s channel since the beginning. She was there when it started, and even now when she has a good following of her own she’s a frequent MrBeast guest. Some people may have noticed her YouTube bio change a year before the announcement from “that guy from the MrBeast videos” to “sometimes appears in MrBeast videos”. Kris didn’t officially come out until last July. In true YouTuber fashion, she came out through an interview with friend Anthony Padilla on his channel. 

The video isn’t just a coming out. It’s also a resource, with links in the video description for those exploring their gender. Kris is frank about her fears and insecurities. She addresses so many things that other transfolk struggle with (according to my FTM brother, at least) that it feels like this video has become something those who can’t safely yet reach out to ask questions can lean into for answers.

Kris also shares her process for building her new voice. I was floored by the vulnerability she showed there. You could see she was scared but also euphoric to finally be audibly herself.

Real talk? I don’t want to make any values assessments about whether and how transwomen should “feminize” their voices. That’s a personal choice and I have no place to have an opinion there. I will say that aesthetically, Kris’s evolving voice is lovely and lilting to my ears. It’s a great voice for a YouTuber.

Miss Benny (she/her)

Miss Benny being interviewed by Matt Bernstein
Miss Benny being interviewed by Matt Bernstein on “Becoming a Woman”

The Glamourous star didn’t come out until June, just before her show dropped on Netflix. She’s been herself when out of the limelight for the past few years. In a powerful Time article she related how she used to pray she’d wake up like her sisters as a child. She moved to Hollywood at 14 to escape her restrictive Texas hometown and find her own niche.

She’s certainly found it. Glamorous originally featured a queer male character fascinated with makeup, and that’s how Miss Benny was cast. It stalled during the pandemic, and by the time Netflix ordered it to series Miss Benny was quietly in transition. She worried about portraying a male character and how it would affect her mentally. Eventually she approached the showrunners and was met with acceptance, even encouragement. They were open to changing the story.

Now Glamorous includes a transition story that, while not the focus of the show, will still be a celebration of the process guided by someone going through it. That’s incredibly important for young transfolk to see, especially other POC.

If you want to know more about Miss Benny’s journey, you can check out her interview with Matt Bernstein over on YouTube. I found it researching this article, and it’s both funny and touching.

Adore Delano (she/her)

Adore Delano comes out as transgender in an Instagram video
How awesome is it seeing the messages of love and support on this video?

Adore’s backstory is a sad one. She came out as a teenager and with the support of her friends and family went to high school as a woman until 16. Then, eager to get on American Idol, she buried her true self to be more palatable to the public. She made it all the way to the semifinals, too.

The truth stayed buried with a brief respite between Idol and Ru Paul’s Drag Race. After a decade of hiding and struggling with substance abuse, Adore decided it was time to get sober and be herself. She took three months to get through the awkward early stages of HRT before posting an Instagram video titled “It’s time we have ‘the talk'”.

She looks content and healthy in the straightforward, confessional style video. “I feel like the chemical imbalance or whatever it was in my head is now leveled. This is a feeling from dysphoria to euphoria.”

It sucks that Adore felt she had to hide. American Idol can be a harsh battleground even for cis folk, but my heart breaks a little that she couldn’t be herself to join Drag Race. There’s a whole complex article to be written about trans representation in drag, and I’m not the one to write it. I do think it’s great that other Drag Race stars like Farah Moan and Jade Jolie have come out, and I’d love to see more acceptance in the art as a genre.

Anyway, Kudos to Adore for returning to her true self. Here’s wishing her – and all our newly out favs, and all of our readers – the best Trans Day of Visibility out there. Remember: people can see you today, so be careful where you park.

Did we miss someone you think should be here? Let us know in the comments!

 

Author: Khai

Khai is a writer, anthropologist, and games enthusiast. She is co-editor (alongside Alex DeCampi) of and contributor to “True War Stories”, a comic anthology published by Z2 Comics. When she’s not writing or creating games, Khai likes to run more tabletop RPGs than one person should reasonably juggle.


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