Tom Gabel & More Famous Male-to-Female Transgenders (Photos)

Tom Gabel, lead singer of punk rock group Against Me! recently revealed to Rolling Stone that he plans to begin living as a woman. From Matrix co-director Lana Wachowski to America’s Next Top Model contestant Isis King, see more famous men who became women.

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Tom Gabel, lead singer of punk rock group Against Me! recently revealed to Rolling Stone that he plans to begin living as a woman. From Matrix co-director Lana Wachowski to America’s Next Top Model contestant Isis King, see more famous men who became women.

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Tom Gabel

Now that’s punk rock. Tom Gabel, lead singer of anarcho rock group Against Me!, recently revealed to Rolling Stone that, after years of living with gender dysphoria, he plans to begin living as a woman. The rocker will begin taking hormones and undergoing electrolysis treatment and will eventually go by the name Laura Jane Grace—though he will remain married to his artist wife Heather, with whom he has a two-year-old daughter named Evelyn. “For me, the most terrifying thing about this was how [Heather] would accept the news,” Gabel said. “But she’s been super amazing and understanding.” Gabel is the first major rock star to come out as transgender and admits that he will have “embarrassing moments and that won’t be fun,” but he is “hoping that people will understand and hoping they’ll be fairly kind.”

AP Photo; Dave Pickoff / AP Photo

Renee Richards

In 1976, Renee Richards was one of the most promising amateur tennis players in the East. But when it was revealed that she was born a man, the media went into a frenzy and the United States Tennis Association banned her from playing in the women’s events at the U.S. Open. Richards, however, took her unique case to New York Supreme Court and won the right to compete—a landmark decision in favor of transsexual rights.

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Lana Wachowski

The directing duo behind the Matrix trilogy, V for Vendetta and Speed Racer, formerly known as the Wachowski brothers, now consists of Andy Wachowski and one Lana Wachowski. Lana, who used to go by the name Larry, reportedly completed a sex change in 2007 and married a dominatrix, according to a Rolling Stone expose. Few facts are known about the change, however, as the Wachowskis are notoriously secretive.

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Genesis P-Orridge

To tell the story of Neil Megson is to tell the story of one of the most all-consuming art projects ever made. An art and music icon of the London avant-garde scene in the 1970s, Megson, who came to be called Genesis P-Orridge, fell madly in love with a tall, blonde occasional-dominatrix named Jacqueline Breyer (often known as Lady Jaye) in 1993. The two shared an obsessive love that P-Orridge described to New York magazine by saying, “We fell in love the minute we saw each other, and as we became more and more obsessively in love, we had that whole feeling of ‘I wish I could eat you up. I wish I could just take you, and I become you and you become me.” The two moved in together and, on their tenth anniversary, decided to take their obsessive love to the next level by literally becoming each other. The project was called “Pandrogeny.” They received matching sets of breast implants, eye and nose jobs, cheek and chin implants, liposuction, lip implants, tattooed beauty marks and hormone therapy. They also dressed identically and mimicked each others’ mannerisms. Though Breyer died of stomach cancer before the project could be completed, P-Orridge has continued the transformation and still refers to himself in the plural.

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Isis King

America’s Next Top Model’s only transgender contestant so far, Isis King (born Darren Walls) competed in Cycle 11 of the hit runway competition. She underwent gender reassignment surgery (on Tyra Banks’s dime) in 2009 and returned as one of fourteen all-stars in Cycle 17, posing for strikingly beautiful shots, such as this one in which she assumes a masculine pose at Pink’s Hot Dogs in Los Angeles. “I’m confident enough to embrace my masculine side,” she wrote in response to fans wondering about the pose.

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Jenna Talackova

Miss Canada 2012 contestant Jenna Talackova made headlines earlier this year when, upon discovering that she had been born Walter Page Talackova, Miss Universe officials disqualified her from the competition. Pageant officials went back on the decision in April however, reinstating her and changing the competition’s policy in order to allow transgender women to compete.

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Harmony Santana

If upon watching Rashaad Ernesto Green’s 2011 coming-out drama Gun Hill Road, you are struck by how convincingly the lead actress, Harmony Santana, portrays a boy at the beginning of a gender transformation process, it’s because Santana had a lot in common with her character. Green discovered Santana at a gay pride parade in New York & the actress has said she suffered similar experiences growing up. “At one time I hated my father so much because he would always fight with my mother about me,” she told the New York Times last year. “I would hear them through the cracks in the door that I shouldn’t be playing with my little sisters and doing girl things.” Santana garnered an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance in the film.

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Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox became the first African-American transgender reality star, according to a biography of hers, when she starred in VH1’s competition series, I Want to Work for Diddy and later went on to co-create and co-produce another VH1 show, the makeover series TRANSform Me. Though the latter series was short-lived, it helped her score a role in this year’s highly-anticipated Susan Seidelman comedy Musical Chairs, about a group of wheelchair-bound ballroom dancers, in which Cox will play Chantelle, a character Cox describes as a transgender, paraplegic, “flirtatious busybody who is an old-fashioned romantic at heart.”

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Candis Cayne

Candis Cayne was best known as a star of the New York nightclub scene until she landed on national television with a recurring role on ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money as Carmelita, a transgender character who engages in an affair with Billy Baldwin’s character, Patrick. Though Cayne acknowledged that the role and the chance to become a Hollywood actress were like a dream come true, she also would “like to get to the point where I could play just female roles you know and not always be categorized.”

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Yasmin Lee

Adult film star Yasmin Lee’s role as a transsexual hooker named Kimmy in the box office hit The Hangover 2 proved controversial—characters in the film did, after all, end up calling Lee’s character a “ladyboy” and a “man with boobies,” leading  them to observe, “They call it Bangkok, not Bangkunt.”  But Lee herself has defended the role, saying, “In my personal opinion, and by the way I was born in Thailand, I think that Kimmy is a very fair portrayal of a transsexual woman. Does she represent all transgender people of the world? No. Anyone that has gone to Thailand would agree that among the 300,000 transsexuals living in Bangkok, there are many who are working in the mainstream and are more accepted there than anywhere else in the world.”