List of transgender people

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A number of noted individuals are or were transgendered.

The word transgender, for the purposes of this article, is an umbrella term that can include transmen and transwomen, who may identify themselves as transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, androgynous, cross-dressers, transvestites, drag queens, drag kings or those intersexual (some prefer hermaphroditic) people whose gender identity differs from the gender they were assigned; or people who use similar terms to describe themselves. See those pages for an explanation of these terms. People on the list have been described according to their self-identification. This article is not sorted by transgender behaviour.

Regarding historical persons, please also note that for individuals at least until the beginning of the 20th century, there were no names for transgender behaviour, and therefore we have no statements that are a clear documentation for their reasons to behave the way they did; most of the time, we have no statements by themselves at all. All we can say is that by today's standards, these people or their behaviour would be considered transgender.

The people on this list have been selected because their fame or notoriety was in some way due or connected to their transgender behaviour.

Living individuals

20th and 21st century individuals

Earlier historical individuals

It is often difficult to construe the gender and sexual identity of pre-modern individuals. In many societies, those whom Western society might consider homosexual or bisexual are or were considered transgendered. Therefore, see also List of famous gay, lesbian, or bisexual people.

Many of these persons cross-dressed during wartime for various purposes. Such people are covered under the article Crossdressing During Wartime.

  • Elagabalus, Roman Emperor
  • Chevalier d'Eon, French diplomat (1728-1810) who claimed that he had been born a girl and later adopted a female persona.
  • Christina of Sweden, Queen of Sweden from 1632 to 1654 who went by the name of "Count Dohna" at one point, dressing in male attire as part of the role. Despite speculation, modern medical examinations of her remains have not uncovered any evidence of intersexuality, although such examinations might not be conclusive.
  • Venerable Onuphrius, in Eastern Orthodoxy, is supposed to had been a virtuous young girl who, in order not to lose her virginity to a persistent suitor, had her wish to become a man granted by divine intervention.
  • Pope Paul II, Catholic pope known to have worn women's clothes and was nicknamed "Our Lady of Pity"
  • James Barry, female bodied surgeon who lived as a man throughout his/her life, according to some accounts in order to be able to practice medicine.

Fictional individuals

Mythological figures

  • Achilles, dressed in women's clothing at the court of Lycomedes
  • Alfhild, beautiful maiden in Norse mythology who dressed as a man to avoid marrying King Alf
  • Guan Yin, Bodhisattva of Compassion, who has both been depicted as male and female, and, according to the Lotus Sutra, has the ability to change form in order to help people.
  • Heracles, was dressed as a woman when enslaved by Omphale
  • The Norse god Thor put on the wedding gown and veil of his enemy's bride, married his enemy, and then slew him at the end of the ceremony.
  • Tiresias, soothsayer to Oedipus from Greek mythology changed into a woman and back in an unrelated tale
  • Pope Joan, who according to legend was a cross-dressing woman elected Catholic Pope (given the name "John VIII"), whose reign was variously attributed to several periods of history. She allegedly died or was murdered in childbirth during a papal procession. There is no evidence for her existence, and the story originates from a much later date than the purported events.


  • Wheelwright, Julie (1989). Amazons and Military Maids: Women Who Dressed As Men in Pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness. London: Pandora Books. ISBN 0-04-440494-8

See also

External links