Who is your favorite trans musician?
Transgender people are making major historical strides in many areas of the public eye, including entertainment and art.
Transgender Singers and Musicians
Here is a list of some of our favorite trans singers and musicians, past and present, that you may not have heard of.
Miss Jordan Gray wowed The Voice with her inimitable vocal talent and spectacular performances. In 2016, Jordan was the first transgender woman to compete on The Voice, and her debut video, Platinum, was the first mainstream pop video to feature a steamy love scene with a cisgender male trans admirer and a trans woman.
Gray has an impressive range, and a distinctive voice filled with character and emotion. From gravelly depths to the sweetest falsetto, she is totally unusual.
While she now works as a successful comedian, this transgender singer’s performances never cease to impress.
Billboard named Shawnee Talbot one of their “Artists You Should Know” in LGBTQ2 music.
Shawnee is an aboriginal two-spirited individual from a small town in Ontario, Canada. The indigenous concept of two-spirited is often translated as “transgender” but Shawnee describes it as possessing “wisdom from the male and female sides of the gender spectrum.”
The dynamite trans singer has been compared to Melissa Etheridge and Pink, but she’s entirely her own woman. Watch a performance by Shawnee along with her Ted Talk on using music as medicine:
nstruments including the drums.
For twenty years Mina Caputo was Keith, and he performed heavy metal music from the male gender she was assigned at birth. Then she came out as transgender during her transition as Mina.
Of course, there was some backlash in a musical realm stereotyped as full of toxic masculinity. But overall Mina Caputo has been welcomed as a fierce free spirit in the field where she has long had respect.
Her band, Life of Agony, continue performing to sell-out audiences.
Raised in rural Quebec, with chicken coops and crops of corn to pick, Jade Mya says she always loved Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton. There was no question that she would follow her musical talents into country and western—that’s just what happened when she opened her mouth to sing.
Jade Mya has coyly tagged herself on her website as “Not Your Girl Next Door,” and has raised more than a few eyebrows prancing across the prairies and Canada’s other country music hotspots in sky-high stilettos, and skin-tight little white lacy dresses, wielding a massive guitar.
Mya was born intersex, a medical condition when someone has both male and female genes, chromosomes, hormones, or body parts. She was assigned and raised as a boy, but later underwent transition and came out as transgender in 2017.
Watch and listen to “Dirt Covered Rhinestone” by Jade Mya:
If you want to hear some totally out-there trans music, you might want to check out this artist. Lil Lavedy is a super bizarre, but awesome trans rapper, who is repping gender fluidity in a playful yet serious way. Plus, the songs are just a whole lot of fun to listen to.
Get acquainted with Lil Lavedy on Bandcamp.
Nakamura is an absolutely stunning Tokyo-born beauty who came out as transgender in 2007, after releasing her second single.
Ataru Nakamura is famous as a pianist and vocalist in Japanese pop and traditional Japanese enka-style ballads. She taught herself to play piano as a young child and went on to play other instruments including the drums.
Jackie Shane’s soulful voice is as beautiful, emotional, and sassy as it can be, rivaling the likes of James Brown and Al Green. But few people remember the ’60s legend that never was.
In a hard-as-nails business and a different time, Jackie Shane lived her truth out loud, singing and performing in high heels, sexy skirts, and wigs. Before transgender rights or transgender women were even on the radar for most of the population, Jackie Shane was dancing to the beat of her own drum.
Jackie toured with greats like Jackie Wilson and Etta James but ultimately faded into obscurity after turning down a variety of opportunities such as an appearance on Ed Sullivan because they asked her to remove her makeup.
In recent years, Los Angeles record producer Douglas Mcgowan tracked Jackie down in Nashville. Recognizing her as one of the greatest of greats, he wanted to re-release her records today with her permission.
The album Any Other Way, produced by Mcgowan, was released in October 2017. Listen to the title song “Any Other Way”:
Finding Trans Music Artists Online
Being trans, becoming the person and gender you feel you ought to be isn’t the be-all and end-all of a person. A lot of trans people are making art or music.
They understand gender, and that ways of being and presenting yourself to the world are based on explorations and performances of the self. This leads to a lot of artistic experimentation. Most of it is pretty rad.
Homoground is one of my favorite places to check out what’s going on in trans music. They feature gay, lesbian, queer, and trans material. It’s really at the forefront of the movement. As opposed to political stances (although they have that in spades) this is a chance to listen to artistic and emotional expressions of trans being.
Where do you find new LGBTQ and transgender music?