Bruce Jenner’s recent interview with Diane Sawyer shocked us all.
The Olympic gold-medalist revealed that he would soon be transitioning into a woman. "Yes, for all intents and purposes I am a woman. People look at me differently. They see you as this 'macho male,' but my heart and soul and everything I do in life, it is part of me, that female side is part of me," Jenner said in an exclusive interview for 20/20. "It's who I am. I was not genetically born that way."
Since then, Jenner has received an outpouring of love and support that has inspired the entire LGBT community. Ahead, check out eight stars you ought to know that represent the transgender community in the best way:
1. Laverne Cox
Laverne Cox first caught our attention when she appeared as a contestant on the first season of VH1’s I Want to Work for Diddy. She has since gone on to star in Netflix’s original series Orange is the New Black. In 2014 she made history, becoming the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.
2. Isis King
You might remember Isis King from cycles 11 and 17 of America’s Next Top Model. She became the first trans woman to compete on the show and instantly became one of the most visible transgender people on the small screen. King has continued to make history as American Apparel’s first transgender model.
3. Alexis Arquette
Alexis Arquette (sister of David and Patricia Arquette) has always been a transgender activist but it wasn’t until 2007 that she went public about her own gender. Arquette later went on to star in the critically acclaimed documentary Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother, which chronicled her transition.
4. Carmen Carrera
Carmen Carrera is best known for her appearance on reality TV favorite, RuPaul’s Drag Race. Her first time publicly revealing her identity was on ABC's What Would You Do?, which showed how people really react to transgender people. The star has since been a transgender and AIDS awareness advocate.
5. Chaz Bono
The world first discovered that Chaz Bono, the son of Sonny and Cher, transitioned into a transgender man after he self-identified in gay magazine, The Advocate. Bono underwent reconstruction surgery for over two years (2008-2010). Since then, he has become an icon in the gay community and a prominent spokesperson for all.
6. Lea T
Brazilian transgender model, Lea T, said she always felt confused but never spoke up because of her strict parents. In the past, she opened up to Oprah about the difficult process she went through, saying she was “really disappointed with life." She’s since grown comfortable in her own skin. “I believe much more in love and heart," Lea T said. "That’s much more bigger than what you have in the middle of your legs.”
7. Amanda Simpson
Amanda Simpson, the Executive Director of the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives, became the first openly transgender woman working on the presidential administration. She continues to spread positive awareness and inspires the transgender community as a powerful working woman.
8. Jenna Talackova
Canadian TV personality, Jenna Talackova, gained popularity after being disqualified in the Miss Universe Canada pageant for not being a “naturally born” woman. After a legal battle, Talackova was allowed to participate and even made it to the top 12.