​Five Trans Trailblazers You Need To Know This LGBTQ History Month

This February saw LGBT History Month skyrocket to new, much greater heights.

From socials to panels, there's been plenty of community-focused events that have swept the length and breadth of The UK. And everyone has played a role in celebrating the diversity out there.

Still, by raising awareness of the issues LGBT communities can face on a daily basis, we can create a cultural talking point together.

For starters, this month gives those who identify as LGBT an opportunity to reflect on pioneers' work; those who are fighting for the freedoms we all enjoy today.

We should also recognise the "T" in LGBT. Trans people sadly experience disproportionate discrimination; yet they are crucial to progressing the wider LGBT community.

So, in a celebration of LGBT and transgender identity, here are five trans trailblazers who deserve a rightful place in the history books.

Marsha P. Johnson

Trans icon Marsha P. Johnson was central to the Stonewall riots - New York's 1969 uprising which sparked the modern gay liberation movement. It's urban legend that she threw the first brick that day, and Johnson dedicated the rest of her life to fighting for the rights of marginalised LGBTQ people. She often worked alongside activist Sylvia Rivera, another trans woman of colour who deserves to be a household name.

Laverne Cox

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Orange Is The New Black's glamorous star shone bright as TIME magazine's first ever transgender cover star in 2014, in an issue titled 'The Trans Tipping Point'. Cox describes herself as a 'possibility model' for others in the trans community. She really can do it all - check out her voguing-inspired debut single for proof.

Lana Wachowski

As one of the siblings behind blockbusters like The Matrix and Cloud Atlas, Lana Wachowski's work has always been ground-breaking. But her heartfelt speech while receiving the 2012 Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award had a unique power, as she movingly described her struggles as a trans teen, and urgently called out the 'pathology of a society that refuses to acknowledge the spectrum of gender'.

Tracey Norman

Norman is living proof that trans women are Born Beautiful. In the 1970s, the model had her face on boxes of Clairol hair dye across America. But when the secret that she was trans got out in the early '80s, she was dropped like a stone. Now, she's rightly recognised for the trailblazer she was, with cover stories and glossy magazine profiles galore.

Chaz Bono

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

As the son of pop icon Cher, Chaz Bono grew up smack bang in the public eye. Coming out as trans in 2009, he became a proud role model for trans men - and his memoir Transition was a best-seller. "That was the lie," he has said of himself pre-transition. "This is the truth." His visibility on TV continues to be ground-breaking, with recent appearances in American Horror Story, and Dancing On Ice.

Featured Image Credit: PA

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