Believe It Or Not But These Gorgeous Women Were Born Men

lead image

We've rounded up the top Asian transgender celebrities nobody knew about and how they are contributing to their community in their own way

For years, there weren't many transgender celebrities to lead the baton for their community. Perhaps, afraid of how society might react, many chose not to come out at all. But things are now changing, and quickly. A large number of transgender celebrities nobody knew about are now openly sharing their life stories and inspiring others to follow suit. 

In fact, many have been hailed as role models. Case in point, the former US Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner and K-pop star Harisu, who is Korea's first transgender celebrity. Both have become icons in their own right and inspired other transgender celebrities to speak up about their personal challenges. 

And while Hollywood has seen many of them slowly coming out, transgender celebrities in Asia have been relatively low-key. But its 2018 people and everybody deserves equal recognition. So we've rounded up the top Asian transgender celebrities nobody knew about and how they are contributing to their community in their own way. 

9 Asian Transgender Celebrities Nobody Knew About

1. Nong Poy

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by poydtreechada (@poydtreechada) on

With over 2mil Instagram followers,Treechada Petcharat aka Nong Poy is one of the most famous transgender from Thailand.

She rose to fame in 2004, after she participated in Miss Tiffany's Universe and Miss International Queen, both of which are contests for transgender persons.  

She has since catapulted to great heights, modelling for various luxury brands and even starting her acting career. 

2. Kevin Balot 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The girl named Kevin. (@kevinbalot) on

Balot became the first Filipino transgender to be crowned Miss International Queen in 2012. And after initially struggling with her transition, decided to go under the knife in 2013.

With over 242k followers on Instagram, Balot is one of the most influential social media fashionistas in the Philippines. She is currently working as a model and a television personality.  

3. Kayo Satoh

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kayo (@satokayo1226) on

Satoh is one of the most popular television personalities and transgender models in Japan. But before she gained fame, she worked as a model for a Japanese fashion magazine "Spy Girl." 

It was only in 2008 that she openly came out on a local television programme. Before that nobody knew that she was born a man. And even though her life story became a subject of much debate, it also encouraged people to accept transgenders. 

4. Lee Si-Yeon

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by 이다희 (@dahee0315) on

Before Lee Si-yeon became a famous South Korean female model, she worked as Lee Dae-hak, a male model. Interestingly, because of his feminine features and petite frame, Lee Dae-hak was at the time asked to pose a woman for several women's clothing lines. 

Since one project led to another and Dae-hak was constantly working as a male disguised as a female, it prompted his transformation into a woman in 2007. Among her many projects, Si-yeon is also known for her role in the popular comedy series Sex is Zero.  

5. Anjali Lama

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Anjali Lama (@anjalilama_official) on

Anjali Lama went from being a small village girl to a transgender icon in India. Originally from Nepal, Lama got into modelling in India after she did a cover shoot for a Nepal-based magazined named The Voice of Woman. 

While sharing her story with Buzzfeed, Lama said, "It was during my college years when I decided to live the identity of my heart. My name was given to me by my community and I love this name. My first assignment was a photoshoot for the cover page of a magazine. This assignment was easy and exciting. The cover shoot was the threshold, but then I started my tough journey which resulted in multiple rejections."

"I was broke, but I never gave up. The most disturbing thing to hear was the reason of the rejection being that I was ‘transgender’. To the point, when my successive failures prompted my well-wishers to also suggest I leave this career path. I took this as a challenge to debunk this myth and lay my own future forward," she added. 

6. Sirapassorn Atthayakorn

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sii? (@sammy_sirapatsorn) on

The gorgeous Sirapassorn Atthayakorn gained worldwide popularity after she was crowned Miss International Queen in 2011.

Having worked as a model and a social media influencer, Atthayakorn today is known for her several television stints and brand endorsements. She is also a vocal supporter of transgenders in Thailand and is considered an influential voice on the matter. 

7. Ayana Tsubaki

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by tsubakiayana (@tsubakiayana) on

Ayana Tsubaki may be a budding social media personality, but she is already a popular television celebrity as well as a fashion model in Japan.

Post her 2006-gender reassignment surgery in Thailand, she returned to Japan to pursue a modelling career. She modelled for several Japanese fashion magazines, including the famed Koakuma Ageha. Tsubaki has also performed in various television programmes, catapulting her to local celebrityhood. 

8. Trixie Maristela

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Trixie Maristela (@trixiemaristela) on

The 32-year-old Trixie Maristela is Miss International Queen 2015 and currently based in Queensland, Australia. The gorgeous Filipino is pursuing a Masters of Business Administration down under.

While most people still identify her as a transgender woman, Maristela prefers to be known as a cisgender person. She is known to be a vocal LGBTQ activist and often speaks out about gender equality and basic human rights.

9. Rinrada Thurapan

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rinrada Thurapan (@yoshirinrada) on

Rinrada Thurapan who is popularly known as Yoshi Thurapan and has over 1.2mil followers on Instagram and is another of the most popular transgender models in Thailand. 

Known for her feminine features and petite frame, Thurapan was crowned Miss Tiffany Universe in 2017 and was the second runner up at Miss International Queen-2018. 

While all of these transgender celebrities are models and television personalities, they are also vocal activists of LGBTQ rights in their own countries. Clearly, these girls are using their voice to represent the minority and fight for equality.

Also read:Trans, Thai, and Trending: The 10 Most Beautiful Transwomen in Thailand

(Feature & lead images courtesy: Instagram)

Written by

Deepshikha Punj