It wasn’t all that long ago that you didn’t hear the term “transgender” very much. But these days, more and more public figures are speaking out about their experiences with gender identity. Some celebrities, like Chaz Bono and Caitlyn Jenner, have transitioned in a very public forum.
Other transgender celebs, like Orange Is the New Black‘s Laverne Cox, have become inspirational spokespeople for the very real challenges that transgender people face in this country and around the world.
But there are many transgender celebrities that haven’t been in the spotlight quite as much. Here are 15 actors, singers, athletes, and musicians that you may not have necessarily known were transgender.
1. Jake Zyrus
In the late 2000s and early 2010s, Charice Pempengco became a bit of a sensation. After booking a recurring role on Fox’s hit show, Glee, the YouTube singer’s star began to rapidly rise. These days, though, Pempengco has made headlines for a different reason: He revealed to fans that he would like to be known, not as a female, but as a male named Jake Zyrus.
Zyrus’ fans have been largely supportive since he announced his transition in June 2017. And he’ll continue to share his talent with the world — he recently shared an image of himself in a recording studio on Instagram.
2. Jamie Clayton
Fans of Netflix’s Sense8 know Jamie Clayton as Nomi, a trans blogger and hacktivist sensate. The actress comes by the role honestly — she is, herself, transgender. Clayton first got her start in Hollywood on the VH1 makeover series, TRANSform Me. And she also gained some attention in 2011 when she guest-starred as Kyla — and kissed Thomas Jane — on Hung.
To date, she’s appeared in a handful of projects, including Are We There Yet? and the 2016 thriller The Neon Demon. However, Clayton has been vocal about the difficulties she’s faced in trying to establish a career as a transgender woman.