- There are several transgender people changing the music industry right now.
- Kim Petras is perhaps the best-known trans pop singer, but Teddy Geiger has been the mind behind some of pop’s biggest hits.
- Shea Diamond and Ah-Mer-Ah-Su are black trans musicians who are also revolutionising the industry.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Stars like Kim Petras and Teddy Geiger have been making waves as musicians for a few years now, but there are some artists who identify as transgender that you should also be adding to your playlists.
Keep reading to see which trans musicians are making an impact on the industry.
Right now, Kim Petras is the most popular mainstream trans artist and is set to become a pop superstar.
In 2009, Kim Petras made headlines as she battled to become one of the youngest people to get hormone therapy in Germany. After that, Petras worked on her music, sharing it on YouTube. In 2017, she released her song “I Don’t Want It At All,” which became a hit. In the short amount of time since then, Petras has released a lengthy discography. In fact, her music has over 2 million listeners on Spotify and over 16 million streams.
Some of her hit songs include “Heart to Break,” “Hillside Boys,” and her most recent single, “Malibu.”
“I don’t care about being the first transgender teen idol at all,” Petras told the New York Times. “I just want to be known as a great musician. On the other hand, that would be totally sick.”
SOPHIE is making waves on the music scene and has been named “artist of the year.”
SOPHIE got her start in the music industry producing for notables like Charli XCX and even Madonna. Eventually, the Scottish artist started producing her own experimental music that mixed voice distortion with mechanical sounds on singles like “Lemonade” and “Bipp.” The unusual pop music became popular among fans, earning the artist a cult-like following. But for the majority of the time, no one knew much about the person behind SOPHIE until she released “It’s OK to Cry” with her face and voice at the forefront, officially coming out as transgender.
“Transness is taking control to bring your body more in line with your soul and spirit so the two aren’t fighting against each other and struggling to survive,” SOPHIE told Paper magazine. “On this earth, it’s that you can get closer to how you feel your true essence is without the societal pressures of having to fulfil certain traditional roles based on gender.”
Most recently, she was the cover girl for OUT Magazine and named “artist of the year.”
Teddy Geiger made a career out of writing for some of the biggest pop stars. Now, she’s making a name for herself with her own music.
Teddy Geiger’s career began back in the early 2000s with the single “For You I Will (Confidence)” as a teenager. But after that, she retreated from the spotlight. Instead, she focused on writing and producing some of the biggest singles from stars like One Direction, Shawn Mendes, and 5 Seconds of Summer. In 2017, however, she stepped back into headlines, coming out as transgender.
“I just feel more open,” Geiger told the New York Times. “Because I’m willing to talk about everything now, people are then more open with me. There’s no longer this piece of me back there saying, ‘Don’t go there.’ I used to find that I’d sing songs and think, ooh, it sounds like I’m talking about that stuff, and I don’t want to talk about that stuff. But it was just coming out.”
Since coming out, she has released some of her own music under the moniker “Teddy<3.” Some of her most popular songs include “I was in a Cult,” “Body and Soul,” and “LillyAnna.”
Skylar Kergil started as a transgender YouTube personality, but now his music is earning him fans.
When Skylar Kergil started transitioning from female to male in high school, he decided to post about it on YouTube. Through the years, he has garnered over 100,000 subscribers and made a name for himself as a transgender activist. He’s also known for his singing and songwriting talents. His discography is mostly categorised as folk music and includes “Tell Me a Story” and “Brothers.”
“I feel this wholeness and acceptance of the things about my body that I couldn’t control and also the things I’ve worked hard to make a reality,” Kergil told HuffPost. “I feel this overwhelming sense of hope about where I’ve been and where I’m going now.”
Shea Diamond blends pop and soul music.
Shea Diamond spent the early 2000s in prison after she said she robbed a convenience store to get money for gender reassignment surgery. During those years, she worked on her singing and songwriting, so that when she finally got out, she jumped into the music scene. In 2016, she released her first single “I Am Her,” which defined what type of music she would create. Two years later, she released her first EP, “Seen It All.” Her other top songs include “American Pie” and “Don’t Shoot.”
“To be a 40-year-old woman, a trans woman, to make it to that age it’s not really heard of. We get killed off before we’re 25,” she told Variety. “The only type of entertainment you want from us – no shade – is Jerry Springer. People don’t want to see the struggle of what it takes for a trans woman to survive. It’s more comfortable for people – for everybody now – for entertainment purposes to see a drag queen. That’s a person who can take it off. The trans experience is a person who isn’t doing it for entertainment purposes. Everything this person does is for survival. What does survival look like? It looks like [me].”
The Cliks’ singer, Lucas Silveira, is the first trans man to sign with a major record label.
Lucas Silveira’s career began when he created his band, The Cliks, in 2004. Their music was featured in the lesbian drama series “The L Word,” bringing the band widespread attention. Just two years later, he made history becoming the first transgender man to sign with a major record label. Since then, Silveira and his band have released several popular songs, including “Complicated,” “Dirty King,” and “Oh Yeah.”
“Something that I would like to do [as a public figure] is to bring some aspect of normalcy to people like me,” he told HuffPost. “We’re a very, very diverse community – I’ve never met two transgender people who’ve had the same experience.”
Ah-Mer-Ah-Su has caught the attention of many with her album, “Star.”
In 2018, Ah-Mer-Ah-Su released her album, “Star,” which shares stories about the transgender, black, and female experience. Some publications say the album is a celebration of transgender people and it has even been compared to the works of Solange and Janelle Monae.
“Here’s the thing: transgender people have been making music forever, and some of us are noticed and become successful,” Ah-Mer-Ah-Su told Billboard. “But, I think the true issue is that trans people are often dehumanized, and our experiences are Othered. People in power choose not to disseminate [our] message to wider audiences, because they don’t see themselves in transgender creatives. They believe that music from LGBTQ artists are specifically for LGBTQ people. Once people realise that they can identify with someone else’s experience, regardless of their differences, we will have a more diversity in the music industry, and we’ll probably be represented.”
- Read more:
- 12 transgender models who are changing the industry
- 16 transgender celebrities who are changing television
- 7 Marvel movie characters who are on the LGBTQ spectrum in the comics
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