7. Jazz Jennings
It’s hard enough for an adult to come to terms with such confusing and difficult issues like gender identity and sexuality; but for a teen (in a world where teenagers can be so cruel) it’s exponentially more challenging to articulate your experiences as a transgender individual. Jazz Jennings was thrust into the spotlight during an interview with Barbara Walters back in 2007, in which she admitted that though she was born a male, she identified as a female. Jazz’s parents explained in the interview that from the moment Jazz could speak, she insisted on being called “she” and said that she was a girl. While she was very young at the time, and there wasn’t as much acceptance of transgender individuals as there is today, Jazz was very open about her feelings and how she identified. Today Jazz has her own YouTube channel documenting her life and her story, and she has also become a famous face of Clean & Clear’s “See the Real Me” ad campaign, and she is inspiring teens and adults across the globe.
8. Isis King
Once upon a time there were very rigid definitions of what defined a woman as beautiful and as model material. But Isis King breaks through several barriers as a transgender woman who also happens to be a model and fashion designer. She was the first woman to compete on “America’s Next Top Model,” and, as Teen Vogue reports, GLAAD president Neil Guiliano calls her stint on the show an “unprecedented opportunity for a community that is underrepresented on television.”