Buzzfeed, a days ago published “24 Americans Who Changed The Way We Think About Transgender Rights”.
See also Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Australia/NZ, Americans in Europe, Europeans in the Americas.
Lists like this are always arbitrary, and well-deserving persons are always left out. However I quickly realized that my list would be quite different even though some on the BuzzFeed list would have made my list if I were starting from scratch. However as this is in effect a response I have not included any of those on the BuzzFeed list. (No. I am not going to specify whom).
The 20 persons below are not sorted by importance. How could one do that? They are sorted by birth year.
- We'wha (1849 - 1896) a Zuni lhamana. The first two-spirit person to be invited to the White House in the 1880s where she met with President Grover Cleveland. WIKIPEDIA.
- Alice Baker (188? – 19??) school teacher arrested and outed in the press, but a quiet inspiration to many. GVWW.
- Ray Bourbon (1892 – 1971) pansy performer who claimed to have had the operation. GVWW WIKIPEDIA
- Phil Black (190? – 1975) performer who started the New York drag balls that evolved into the later voguing balls. GVWW
- Reed Erickson (1917 – 1992) engineer, philanthropist. Subsidized many organizations and writers. The major mover behind the trans scene in the 1960 and 1970s. GVWW WIKIPEDIA
- Hedy Jo Star (1920 – 1999) showgirl, costumier. The first full-length autobiography by a US trans woman, 1955. GVWW
- Stormé DeLarverie (1920 – 2014) Jewel Box Review performer, Stonewall alumnus. GVWW WIKIPEDIA
- Pussy Katt (1929 – ) the first known US surgical transsexual who had her operation in 1945 at age 16. GVWW
- Gloria Hemingway (1931 – 2001) writer, doctor, daughter of Ernest. GVWW WIKIPEDIA
- Issan Dorsey (1933 – 1990) drag performer who became a Zen Abbot. GVWW WIKIPEDIA
- Terry Noel (1936 – ) Jewel Box Review performer, computer programmer-analyst. The first trans women known to work for the US Government. GVWW
- Aleshia Brevard (1937 – ) first trans women to play significant roles in Hollywood films. www.aleshiabrevard.com.
- Agnes (1939 – ) at 19 in 1959 was able to persuade Robert Stoller and the UCLA Medical Center that she had testicular feminization syndrome, and so was approved for vaginoplasty. GVWW
- Catherine Jones (1944 – 2011) Artist. GVWW WIKIPEDIA
- Donna Parsons (1945 – 2003) recording supervisor, Chaplin impersonator. GVWW
- Joan Roughgarden (1946 – ) biologist at Stanford University, author of Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People. GVWW WIKIPEDIA
- Rachel Harlow (1948 – ) star of The Queen, a sensation at the Cannes International Film Festival, club owner in Philadelphia. GVWW
- Patrick Califia (1954 – ) controversial writer who wrote one of the best books on the topic, Sex changes : the politics of transgenderism, before himself deciding to transition. WIKIPEDIA
- Sulka (195? – ) pioneer trans porn star who became post-op (unlike most such stars today). GVWW
- Johnny Science (1955 – 2007) drag king/trans man pioneer in 1980s/1990s New York. GVWW