The fashion industry has come quite some way since April Ashley stepped onto the scene 60 years ago, but it still has a long way to go when it comes to transgender representation. There have been major strides made in recent years, though, with openly transgender models increasingly dominating runways, campaigns, and even TV shows.
Ahead, we highlight 9 names who are changing the modelling game with their fearlessness and perseverance in chasing their dreams.
Theodora "Teddy" Quinlivan
Teddy Quinlivan was discovered by Louis Vuitton's creative director Nicolas Ghesquière in 2015, and came out as transgender two years later. She has since taken the modelling world by storm, with a résumé that includes Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Moschino, Haider Ackermann, Paco Rabanne, and Jeremy Scott.
The model, actress, and writer was catapulted into the limelight when she became the first trans model to sign with IMG Worlwide. Hari Nef has appeared on the catwalks of Eckhaus Latta, Hood by Air, and Adam Selman, as well as in TV shows like You and Transparent.
One of the most high-profile transgender models in the industry, Nathan Westling made his debut on Marc Jacobs' runway in 2013, when he was still going by the name Natalie. Having gone on to work with the likes of Prada, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Dior, and Alexander McQueen, Westling announced last year that he would be transitioning.
Juliana Huxtable lays claim to the titles of not only model, but also artist, DJ, and social media maven. Her work has even been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Andreja Pejić has been making waves in the industry for over a decade. She rose to fame for her androgynous look, never conforming to gender norms and walking in both men's and women's shows for Marc Jacobs and Jean-Paul Gaultier. Following gender reassignment surgery in 2013, Pejić came out publicly as transgender, and has appeared on the covers of magazines around the world.
You probably recognise Carmen Carrera from the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race. The model came out as a trans woman the following year in 2012, and ever since has walked for Chromat and appeared in many magazines, besides being involved in AIDS activism.
Filipino-American model Geena Rocero has starred in numerous beauty and swimsuit campaigns, and is also a longtime activist for transgender rights. Her TED Talk about her decision to transition has racked up over three million views.