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Loud and proud: Celebs who came out as transgender men/women

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Dec 02, 2020 6:11 am Updated Nov 17, 2021 1:49 pm

The Umbrella Academy star Elliot Page on Dec. 1, 2020 shared on social media his gender identity. “Hi, friends. I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot,” the 33-year-old actor wrote.

An outpouring of support came Page’s way as celebrities and his followers on social media sent positive messages to the actor on his post.

In a statement, LGBTQ+ advocacy organization GLAAD’s director of transgender media Nick Adams said Elliot Page, an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ people, “will now be an inspiration to countless trans and non-binary people. All transgender people deserve the chance to be ourselves and to be accepted for who we are. We celebrate the remarkable Elliot Page today.”

As we celebrate with the LGBTQ+ community, let’s look back at celebrities who have come out as transgender men/women and are now living and owning their truths.

Jake Zyrus

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He shot to international fame when he was a young Charice Pempengco, the singer who wowed producer and composer David Foster and has made several appearances on US TV shows like The Ellen de Generes Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show, and performed in huge arenas all over the world. He also released international hits that landed on the Billboard charts.

Jake initially came out as lesbian in 2013 in a tell-all interview with Boy Abunda on The Buzz. In 2017, he announced on Instagram and Twitter that he is a transgender man.

His coming out as a lesbian and later as a transgender man made headlines around the world. And was even featured in his “ninang” Oprah Winfrey’s show for his coming out story.

He recently received an Emmy nomination for “Jake and Charice,” a documentary about his transformation. He also released a book in 2018 titled “I Am Jake,” which tells the story of his rebirth.

Angie Mead-King

Car enthusiast and businesswoman Angie King revealed in an interview with TV host Boy Abunda that it wasn’t her decision to come out initially.

During the interview, Angie disclosed that in June 2016, “Facebook decided to out me” as the social media platform sent notifications to her friends that “Your friend Ian King is on Instagram as Angie Mead.” So with the help of her wife, model and host Joey Mead King, Angie came out. (Angie said in the interview that it was a mystery to her how it happened because she kept two phones with two different numbers and e-mail addresses for her separate social media accounts.)

After Angie came out, she and her wife Joey were featured in a TLC documentary The Kings, which told their love story and how they tackle the highs and lows of life together.

Today, Angie vlogs their everyday life on her YouTube channel.

BB Gandanghari

While in the Pinoy Big Brother house in 2006, then Rustom Padilla came out as gay to fellow housemate Keanna Reeves. Years later, as BB Gandanghari, she clarified that she was a transgender woman.

In 2016, she filed a petition to change her name and gender before a court in California. A few months later, she was formally recognized as female and her name was legally changed from Rustom Padilla to Binibini Gandanghari.

She currently lives and works in California and uploads daily vlogs on her YouTube channel.

Ice Diño Seguerra

Singer and composer Ice Seguerra was thrust into the spotlight as a child star after joining noontime show Eat Bulaga’s “Little Miss Philippines” segment. In his late teens, he pursued a career in music and started with the breakout hit "Pagdating ng Panahon."

It was in 2007 when she initially came out as lesbian. In 2014, she revealed in an interview with Kris Aquino on the now defunct TV show “Aquino & Abunda Tonight” that “I’m a transgender.” He now identifies as a transgender man and is married to Film Development Council of the Philippines chair Liza Diño.

Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner is a former Olympic champion and reality TV star who came out on national television in an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer. “For all intents and purposes, I am a woman,” she said.

She revealed to Diane Sawyer in the 20/20 interview that she was taking hormone replacement therapy since the ‘80s but stopped it when she met Kris Jenner, with whom she has two daughters, Kendall and Kylie.

During the ABC interview, she was still known as Bruce Jenner, but it was in a historic Vanity Fair cover feature titled “Call me Caitlyn” where her new name was announced.

She starred in a two-season TV documentary series I Am Cait, which chronicled her life after her gender transition.

Nikkie de Jager

Nikkie de Jager is a Dutch makeup artist who rose to fame with her beauty vlog Nikkie Tutorials on YouTube. It was on the same channel where Nikkie posted in January a video of her coming out as transgender, which has more than 30 million views to date.

In the video, she revealed that someone had blackmailed her and threatened to reveal her assigned gender in public. With that, she decided to come out herself. “When I was younger, I was born in the wrong body, which means that I am transgender now.”

Nikkie also revealed that she had always identified as a female growing up and her parents supported her when she grew her hair out when she was six years old, and by seven or eight years old, she was already wearing female clothing.

She explained in the video that she started taking hormones at 14 years old and “fully transitioned” when she was 19 years old.

At the end of the video, she told her viewers, “If you feel like you're trapped and there's no way out, know that it gets better. Trust me, it gets better.”

Leyna Bloom

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Leyna Bloom, who is of American and Filipino descent, has been breaking barriers in the world of fashion and film in the US.

Leyna was initially not open about being a transgender woman before the photoshoot of her first major magazine cover for the Winter 2014-2015 issue of Candy Magazine. But Leyna (then billed as Leyna Ramous) felt liberated to come out with the fact that she would be sharing the cover with a transgender women powerhouse lineup including Geena Rocero, Isis King and Laverne Cox.

Her acting debut in the Danielle Lessovitz feature film Port Authority made her the first transgender actress of color to star in a Cannes film. In 2017, she was the first transgender woman to grace Vogue India’s pages. And in 2019, she was the only transgender woman of color to walk the runway of the Paris Fashion Week for Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya Fall/Winter collection.

As a trans activist, she spoke in a short-film portrait series, Dior Stands with Women. “There are so many difficulties in this world. For me, being a woman, being a woman of color and also being a transwoman, walking in today’s society with my chin up is a form of activism.”

Banner image photos from www.instagram.com/nikkietutorials, www.instagram.com/jakezyrusmusic and www.instagram.com/angiemeadking