Commentary

The top 50 successful transgender Americans you should know

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6. Angelica Ross

Angelica Ross is the founder of TransTech Social Enterprises, a company that empowers trans and gender nonconforming people through on-the-job training in leadership and workplace skills. Ross has toured nationally, speaking her powerful mission into action with business leaders, educators, and the President of the United States. Since studying theater at Florida Atlantic University, she has been featured in film, television, and live theatre. Ross is the breakout star of the Emmy-nominated Her Story.

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7. Wendy Carlos

Wendy Carlos is an American composer and keyboardist best known for her electronic music and film scores. She oversaw the development of the Moog synthesizer, then a relatively new and unknown keyboard instrument designed by Robert Moog. Carlos came to prominence with Switched-On Bach (1968), an album of music by Johann Sebastian Bach performed on a Moog synthesizer which helped popularize its use in the 1970s and won her three Grammy Awards. She composed the score to two Stanley Kubrick films, A Clockwork Orange (1971) and The Shining (1980), and Tron (1982) for Walt Disney Productions.

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8. Martine Rothblatt

Martine Rothblatt is an American lawyer, author, and entrepreneur. Rothblatt graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a combined law and MBA degree in 1981, then began work in Washington, D.C., first in the field of communications satellite law, and eventually in life sciences projects like the Human Genome Project. She is the founder and Chairman of the Board of United Therapeutics and the highest-paid female executive in the United States. She is also the creator of GeoStar and Sirius Radio.

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9. Jessica Taylor

Jessica Taylor is a Canadair Regional Jet plane Captain for Skywest Airlines, where she has worked since 2012. In 2007, Taylor decided to go back to school at Utah Valley University to achieve her dreams of becoming an airline pilot. She finished her schooling in 2009 working as a flight instructor in Santa Ana, California. Taylor has flown more than 40 types of aircraft, including the Cessna 172, Extra 300, Edge 540, Pitts S2C, and Challenger. After her transition, she worked with members of Congress and the FAA to allow transgender people equal treatment for medical certification.

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10. Judge Phyllis Frye

Judge Phyllis Frye graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering. She was honorably discharged from the United States Army in 1972. She transitioned in 1976, and earned an M.B.A. and J.D. from the University of Houston. On November 17, 2010, Houston mayor Annise Parker appointed Frye as an Associate Judge for the City of Houston Municipal Courts. The Houston City Council unanimously approved of her appointment. On April 28, 2013, Frye was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Transgender Foundation of America.

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