Skip To Content
  • bestof2016 badge

20 Of The Most Amazing Trans Moments Of 2016

"Every day matters when it comes to building a world where every person can live their life to the fullest."

Let's face it, 2016 was a really hard year. But against a backlash of anti-trans bills and rising hate crimes, trans people fought to make their voices heard on television screens, on political stages, and on social media — and in refusing to be silenced, they advocated for trans livelihood and joy.

1. It was a year for victories, like when Tangerine star Mya Taylor won Best Supporting Female Actor at the Spirit Awards and brought the house down with her acceptance speech:

View this video on YouTube

2. And when Lily Madigan, a British trans teen, responded to being sent home for wearing girls’ clothing to school by fighting back — and winning.

“I was being treated like I’d done something wrong,” Lily told BuzzFeed News in October about her experience being sent home from class.

3. It was a year of firsts, like when Sarah McBride made history (to the tune of raucous applause) as the first trans person to ever speak at a national convention:

View this video on YouTube

"My name is Sarah McBride and I am a proud transgender American."

4. When ESPN’s Body Issue featured a trans athlete, duathlete Chris Mosier, for the very first time:

5. And when 33-year-old Amelia Gapin had the same honor on the cover of Women's Running:

6. Oh, and Benjamin Melzer was introduced to the world after becoming the first transgender man to appear on the cover of Germany's Men’s Health:

7. It was a year for taking action, like when trans people all over the country started taking selfies in public restrooms to protest North Carolina's anti-LGBT law, HB2.

8. When the legendary Laura Jane Grace kicked off her show in North Carolina by burning her birth certificate in front of a soldout crowd:

I guess gender really is over since @LauraJaneGrace said goodbye to gender! #genderisover

“I may not live in the state of North Carolina, but I definitely work in the state of North Carolina and pay taxes in North Carolina — my band has toured though here at least once a year for the past twenty years,” she said of her act of protest.

9. And when one North Carolina man went so far as to hand out business cards to get his point across:

10. It was a year for educating others, like when Laverne Cox opened up about the realities of living as a trans woman of color while responding to a fan's question on Twitter:

11. (And when she, in general, slayed each and every red carpet she came across this year.)

12. When this trans teen shut down hate with a single tweet:

13. And when this little girl's heartwarming reaction to the news one of her parent's is transitioning gave everyone a lot of feelings:

14. It was a year for visibility, like when the six-episode web series Her Story snagged an Emmy nomination:

The moment @la_wa & I & @speed_of_joy found out @HerStoryShow nominated for @TheEmmys @angelicaross @SmartAssJen

The moment the show's head producer, Katherine Fisher, Zak, and star Fawzia Mirza found out about the show’s nomination was too good not be captured on video.

15. When Janet Mock conducted a series of intimate interviews from people within the trans community for HBO's The Trans List.

16. And when Alexandra Grey and Trace Lysette nailed the story of Marsha P. Johnson sparking the Stonewall Riots for Drunk History:

👏 👏 👏

17. When artists and activists Tiq and Kim Milan gave a powerful TED Talk on their vision of queer love and marriage:

18. It was a year for spreading joy, like when a whole bunch of gorgeous trans folks got badass makeovers to look just like their biggest idols:

19. When this story about a positive airline experience spread good vibes all over the internet:

20. And when trans teens from all over started sharing selfies for a #transtakeover on twitter, just to spread a little love.

Moments like these were welcome bright spots in an otherwise tough and scary year. Here's to more trans and gender-nonconforming badassery in 2017.