Sometimes the gender you identify with isn’t the gender you were born with. Sometimes you’re filthy rich. The ten people listed below find themselves in both of those categories.
Thanks to television shows like Transparent and Orange Is The New Black, films like Dallas Buyers Club, and music like Against Me!’s album Transgender Dysphoria Blues, society is becoming more and more informed on the important topics of transgender identities and issues. This awareness allows for a lot of people to step out of the darkness and become the person they always wanted to be.
Some of the transgender people that made this list have only begun the change to the opposite sex, others haven’t undergone any surgery at all, and a few have completed the transformation. Rolling Stone called 2014 “The Biggest Year in Transgender History” and Time magazine featured transgender actress Laverne Cox on their cover with the headline “The Transgender Tipping Point”.
Federal policy on transgender issues has been changed to ban discrimination and offer more medical help for those who want to undergo gender orientation treatments. In the White House and in Hollywood, the topic of transexuality is becoming increasingly celebrated instead of being shamed, which lets these talented individuals do their thing. There’s no denying that these 10 richest transgender people in the world are making waves.
10 1o. Andreja Pejic - Net Worth: $200,000
Andreja Pejic is a model who has a net worth estimated at around $200,000, but she’s just getting started. This Bosnia-born and Australia-raised beauty was scouted while she was still a male high school student, working at McDonald’s. She began her career modeling clothing for men and women alike. In 2011 she found herself on the models.com list of Top 50 Male Models. Three years later, in 2014, she underwent sex reassignment surgery and now identifies as a transgender woman. The 23-year-old has a prosperous career ahead of her in modeling, acting, and directing alike. She is currently making a film about her life and her transformation.
9 Chaz Bono - Net Worth: $500,000
The son of Sonny and Cher, Chaz Bono, born Chastity Sun Bono, has a net worth of around $500,000 not to mention his hefty inheritance. Identifying as a lesbian for many years before undergoing gender reassignment surgery in 2008, in 2010 he changed his name to Chaz. His publicist stated, “It is Chaz’s hope that his choice to transition will open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue, just as his coming out did.” He has used his transformation as a means to inform and connect to others in the LGBT community. Bono is a social activist and author, who has released an album and has competed on the television show Dancing with the Stars.
8 Kellie Maloney - Net Worth: $600,000
Kellie Maloney was previously known as Frank Maloney, a famous Boxing promoter who worked with the likes of Lennox Lewis. She has a net worth of around $600,000. In 2014, after two marriages and three kids, Maloney publicly announced her plans to undergo sex reassignment surgery the following year. Maloney was quoted saying “I don’t want to campaign around gays, I don’t think they do a lot for society. What I have a problem with is them openly flaunting their sexuality” back in 2004, but has recently released this statement; “I accept comments I made in the past were wrong. I knew it was wrong...It was a mistake.” Looks like she has had a change of heart as well.
7 Amanda Lepore - Net Worth: $1.7 million
Amanda Lepore has a net worth of around $1.7 million. She is an artist, singer, model, and muse. Born a male in New Jersey, Lepore always knew she was different, “Ever since I can first remember, I knew I was a girl. I couldn’t understand why my parents were dressing me up in boys clothing. I thought they were insane.” Lepore underwent gender reassignment surgery when she was nineteen. She has gone to great lengths in order to achieve the look she has always wanted, including having her ribs broken in order to look thinner. In her opinion, it has all paid off, “When the press found out I was transsexual, they liked me even more. It was really validating. I became kind of the ‘It’ transsexual.”
6 Carmen Carrera - Net Worth: $2 million
With a net worth of $2 million, Carmen Carrera is busy building her empire. Actress, model, and burlesque performer, she rose to fame after starring on the reality television show RuPaul’s Drag Race. She now has 90,000 followers on Twitter, 160,000 followers on Instagram, and 500,000 people like her page on Facebook. Carrera was born a male, Christopher Roman, and was raised in New Jersey by her mother. “I knew I was different, but my mom never told me I should be any other way. Consequently, I didn’t grow up thinking I was wrong being who I was.” It wasn’t until a few years ago that she decided to undergo surgery in order to complete her transformation.
5 Laverne Cox - Net Worth: $2 million
Laverne Cox was the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. She appeared in John Legend’s video for the song “You & I (Nobody in the World)” and was on the cover of Time magazine in 2014. Known for her role as Sophia Burset on Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black, Cox has a net worth of $2 million. She is a role model in the transgender community, using her part on the popular series as a platform to speak on issues that transgender people face in today’s society. The 30-year-old is just beginning her career as an admirable actress.
4 Conchita Wurst - Net Worth: $3 million
Conchita Wurst is a pop star and drag queen with a net worth of around $3 million. Recognizable because of her beard, the singer identifies as both male and female. Originally from Austria, Thomas Neuwirth began a musical career as a male, but became Conchita Wurst as a stage persona. Wurst has walked the runway for Jean-Paul Gauthier, coming a long way from the days when she would dress up like a female when she was a kid. “It was only in the attic that I could be myself.” Wurst may actually be a man, but that hair and those lashes could make any lady jealous.
3 Laura Jane Grace - Net Worth: $5 million
The lead singer of the punk rock band Against Me!, Laura Jane Grace, is currently undergoing a gender transition. “Right now, I’m in this awkward transition period. I look like a dude, and feel like a dude, and it sucks. But eventually I’ll flip, and I’ll present as a female.” Formerly Thomas James Gabel, the musician came out as transgender in 2012. Her net worth is around $5 million and the band's latest album is titled Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Grace was married with a child when she decided to undergo this transformation, but her and her wife are now currently separated.
2 Martine Rothblatt - $39 million per year
Martine Rothblatt is the highest paid female CEO, making around $39 million a year. Martin Rothblatt was married with five children when she realized she wanted to undergo a transgender transformation and change her name to Martine. Rothblatt’s company, United Therapeutics Corp., is a biotechnology company concentrated on the growth and commercialization of products that attend to the unmet medical needs in America. Even while at the helm of all of that, Rothblatt finds the time to also focus on being a lawyer, an author, and a social activist as well. She runs a charitable foundation that concentrates on improving public awareness of transgender issues.
1 Jennifer Pritzker - Net Worth: $1.79 billion
Jennifer Pritzker is the world’s first transgender billionaire with a net worth of $1.79 billion. Formerly James Pritzker, she is the founder of the Pritzker Military Library, a museum and research library in Chicago, and the Tawani Foundation, a grant-making organization created in order to showcase the significance of the Citizen Soldier. She is a retired lieutenant colonel and is part of one of the richest families in America. After three children and a divorce, in 2003, Pritzker released this statement; “Pritzker now identifies herself as a woman for all business and personal undertakings.”