Happy Pride, GGA! You know we love to share our favorite musical artists with you, and last year, we shared some nonbinary musicians we adore. Now, we’re back with (binary*) trans artists! There are so many amazing trans musicians, so to narrow the list down, we limited ourselves to those who’ve released albums within the last five years.
*Though we’ve separated nonbinary and transgender artists, many trans people consider themselves nonbinary and vice versa. We chose to highlight the artists in different lists because of the plethora of artists out there.
צלם: שלום שלוש
איפור: דנה בוז'ו
עיצוב שיער: שמואל שלוש
Photographer : Shalom Shlush
Make up artist: Dana Buzo
Hair designer: Shmulik Shlush pic.twitter.com/ptgbRAgowz
— Aderet (@djaderet1) September 20, 2022
Adareret is an Israeli musician and DJ. She released her first single, “Le’at Uvatuah” (“Slowly and Surely”), in 2000. In 2008, she interviewed with The Jerusalem Post, which reported her popularity in Lebanon as well as Israel. Here’s hoping we can get this dance-trance-pop musician more recognition stateside.
Check out: “קח אוֹתי גבוֹה” from קוֹמה ישירית and “Chaos (Oz Zigron Remix)” from Jewish Girl.
— Backxwash (@backxwash) June 16, 2023
Backxwash is a Zambian-Canadian rapper-metal musician who released her first EP, F.R.E.A.K.S., in 2018, which featured the single “Stonewall.” She told CULT MTL she wanted her first full-length album, God Has Nothing to Do With This Leave Him Out of It, to be “relatable for queers who were raised in the church and had those same experiences.”
Check out: “Zigolo” off of His Happiness Shall Come First Even Though We Are Suffering and “Nine Hells” from I Lie Here Buried With My Rings and My Dresses.
— Jake Zyrus (@jakezyrus) September 10, 2022
Jake Zyrus is a Filipino musician who rose to fame on YouTube and gained even more international recognition after starring on Glee. The pop star has had difficulty retaining his popularity post-transition, says Asia One, in large part due to the conservative nature of his home country.
Check out: “DNM” and “Diamond” off of Evolution.
Stateside, German musician Kim Petras is probably best known for being the first openly transgender person to win a major Grammy for her song “Unholy” (with Sam Smith, who became the first openly nonbinary artist to achieve the same) in 2023. But Petras has been on the pop and dance music scene since 2008 when she released her first single “Fade Away.”
Check out: “Icy” off of Clarity and “Throat Goat” from Slut Pop.
Laura Jane Grace
— Laura Jane Grace (@LauraJaneGrace) May 18, 2023
Laura Jane Grace, a US American solo artist and frontwoman for the punk band Against Me!, has been releasing music since 1997. She’s also a pioneer, having come out publicly as trans back in 2012. Against Me! is currently on hiatus, but Grace is still consistently releasing music.
Check out: “Yesterday Part II” from At War With the Silverfish and “I Hate Chicago” off of Bought to Rot.
Linn da Quebrada
Linn da Quebrada is a Brazilian multi-hyphenate who has released albums as well as starred on Amazon Prime’s September Mornings. Da Quebrada has also appeared in more than one documentary, including Meu Corpo É Politico (My Body is Political).
Check out: “eu matei o Júnior” on Trava Línguas and “Enviadescer” from Pajubá.
Trans Rally & March
Fri June 23rd
Church & Hayden St
Gather & celebrate with Trans Ambassador Kitanya Wiltshire & DJ Sofia Fly!
Fri June 23rd
Church & Dundas St
DJ Mirass, Al Val, Lucas Silveira, Lady G, Shay Dee, Tommi Boy, Buster Hyman & R. Flex pic.twitter.com/aW4rEPEDV4
— Pride Toronto (@PrideToronto) June 13, 2023
Lucas Silveira is a Canadian folk-rock musician, speaker and activist. In 2006, he became the first openly transgender man to sign with a major record label, according to the Advocate. He also performed with the band The Cliks.
Check out: “Bad Romance” from Mockingbird and “Bewitched” from The Goddamn Flowers.
In 2022, CMT and Nashville Scene named pop-folk-blues-country musician Mya Byrne an “artist to watch for.” Though she received that recognition in ’22, Byrne released her first EP back in 2004. Also in 2022, the US-American artist signed with the label Kill Rock Stars.
Check out: “Wide, Wide River” off of As I Am and “Come On” from Rhinestone Tomboy
British pop-punk musician NOAHFINNCE is also a well-known YouTube personality. He’s been posting music to social media since 2015 but signed to a record label in 2020. Besides posting videos of his music, NOAHFINNCE makes many videos on trans-related topics.
Check out: “Stupid” from Stuff From My Brain and “Better Days” from My Brain After Therapy.
Ryan Cassata is the first openly trans musician to have played at Warped Tour. But this US American isn’t just a musician; he’s also an activist, speaker and actor. Further, Cassata has received recognition for his music about recovery.
Check out: “Guard Rail” from Magic Miracle Mile and “Daughter” from Rebels & Ghosts.
In the mail came a bug pic.twitter.com/T7LMUZuTyI
— Teddy Geiger (@Teddygeiger) May 16, 2023
US-American musician Teddy Geiger has been signed with Columbia Records since she was a teenager, releasing her first album in 2006. She released her third album, LillyAnna, after coming out as a trans woman. Geiger has also written hit songs for artists such as Shawn Mendes.
Check out: her cover of “Brass in Pocket” and “Under the Blue” from LillyAnna.
Canadian musician, writer and visual artist Vivek Shraya has won a Canadian Screen Award and is a Polaris Prize nominee. She’s a best-selling writer with her book, I’m Afraid of Men. And if that weren’t enough, she’s currently got a series in development with the CBC. That’s not to mention her bomb music!
Check out: “Good Luck (You’re Fucked)” and “Sinister Sister” off of Baby, You’re Projecting.
There you have it, folx: 12 of our fave trans musicians. Who’s your favorite? Who did we miss? Let us know in the comments below!