Transgender and intersex advocate Mauro Cabral has become one of Argentina’s experts. One of the founding directors of GATE (Global Action for Trans* Equality), Cabral began researching the ethics behind intersex surgeries after his own traumatic experiences, which he describes as “a violation that lasted eight years.” He has spoken in front of the United Nations, the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights, and the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, among others, and edited Interdicciones – Escrituras de la Intersexualidad en Castellano (Bans: Scriptures of Intersexuality in Castilian). Perhaps most impressively he was among the 29 signatories of the Yogyakarta Principles, a list of internationally-compiled principles related to the human rights of sexual and gender minorities.
Cabral’s Facebook page is available here.
No quote can summarize activist, sex worker, performer, and politician Jamie Lee Hamilton more elegantly than this excerpt from The Walrus profile of her: “She became a Native Princess, a Ms. Gay Vancouver, and, inevitably, an honorary member of the travelling cast of A Chorus Line.” For over three decades she pushed for Canadian laws targeting sex workers to be overturned using a mixture of dramatic tactics and community building; she even became Canada’s first trans person to run for public office and nearly won a seat. She also sits on the board of directors for the Greater Vancouver Native Cultural Society, an aboriginal advocacy group.
Hamilton’s Twitter feed is available here; her Facebook page is here.
Screenwriter, lyricist, and activist Gazal Dhaliwal is an outspoken member of India’s increasingly public transgender community. She created a documentary while in film school, To be…Me, which features interviews with fellow trans people and summarizes current medical and legal perspectives. She has appeared in blogs, on the TV series My Big Decision, and with her parents on a high-profile talk show‘s episode on “alternative sexualities” (available for viewing here). In her appearances she stresses her post-transition happiness and the variety of gender roles that trans people are drawn to.
Dhaliwal’s Facebook page can be found here; her Twitter feed, here; and her blog (not updated since 2010), here.
As of the time of this posting, the youngest trans person to appear on United States national television was Jazz Jennings, in 2007, when she was six years old. The interview on 20/20 was reprised in 2013, offering an updated insight into Jennings’ life. Through a lawsuit stretching over several years she won the right to play on a girl’s soccer team. Her candor (she has a number of educational videos and interviews now posted on YouTube) led her naturally into an activist role, and she has been honored by several organizations, including a spot in Time‘s Top 25 Most Influential Teens list and a GLAAD media award, for her outspokenness. She runs a small business selling rubber mermaid tails and co-wrote a children’s book loosely based on her life.
Jennings’ official Facebook page is available here.
The lead singer for the punk band Against Me!, Laura Jane Grace, has been playing nonstop since dropping out of high school to tour first as a solo act and then a full band in every venue that would have her, laundromats included. She attributes her anti-authoritarian awakening to an unprovoked beating from the police. Several years went by until she found a broader audience with the albums New Wave and White Crosses; two years after White Crosses, she came out publicly as transgender, making her the highest profile trans musician in the business. Since then she’s been going strong as an activist, and has used her celebrity status for everything from releasing the album Transgender Dysphoria Blues, to clarifying the effects of hormone replacement therapy on voices, to creating a television series featuring interviews with other trans people.
Grace’s Twitter feed is available here and her Facebook page is available here.
American activist Lily McBeth, who had led a prior career selling medical equipment, made headlines after returning to work as a substitute teacher following her coming out as transgender. Although the school boards in her two local districts voted to reinstate her citing a legal rationale (although New Jersey’s transgender anti-discrimination law was not passed until a year later), several parents vehemently disagreed. A full-page newspaper advertisement protesting her rehiring was taken out, and one parent was interviewed on a nationally-broadcast talk show. McBeth herself did several interviews and is credited with raising awareness of transgender issues in her home state. She retired soon after due to the steep drop in teaching assignments she received, which she claimed was due to discrimination; one of the school district disagreed, pointing a full-time substitute that they had recently hired.
Margaret Charmoli, a practicing psychologist, has also been a host of the monthly cable television show BiCities since its inception in 2002. BiCities is a play on “Twin Cities,” the nickname of its hosting location, the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area of Minnesota, and it features interviews with members of the bisexual community. Charmoli herself has been the subject of at least one interview in which she shares her expertise on the American Psychological Association and its evolving views on queer identity. As of the time of this posting she is also the Bisexual Representative with the board of directors at Reconciling Works, an organization dedicated to bettering the inclusion of the queer community within the Lutheran Church, and was part of the push for legalized same-sex marriage in Minnesota through her membership with the Minnesota Psychological Association.