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Ann Arbor Native Brian Michael Smith ‘Incredibly Honored’ to Be First Trans Man on People’s ‘Sexiest Men Alive’ List

By |2021-11-16T10:47:19-05:00November 16th, 2021|Michigan, News|

For the first time ever, this year’s People’s Sexiest Men Alive list includes a trans man, actor and Ann Arbor native Brian Michael Smith. 

“I’ve been called many things, this is a first,” said the “9-1-1: Lone Star” star in a post to his Instagram account. “Incredibly honored to be included in this list with so many actors I admire. Big love to [People] for the historic shout-out.” 

“The ‘9-1-1: Lone Star’ star was one of People’s Ones to Watch in 2021,” People wrote in their write-up of Smith. “And we will definitely not have a hard time keeping an eye on him.”

Smith, who attended Pioneer High School, spoke to Pride Source’s Chris Azzopardi earlier this year about realizing he was transgender. 

“I grew up in a very Southern Baptist traditional household and a very heteronormative space, so when I did start to hear even just the word ‘gay’ it was in the negative connotation that kids use in middle school,” he said. “On talk shows and in tabloids, all I saw were negative depictions of transwomen. I didn’t know an actual transman existed until I was 20. The first was Jamison Green on this website, and I saw this fully functioning adult man, a writer, and he’s all these things I was.”

It was then that Smith had a revelation. 

“When I saw that transmen existed, I knew exactly who I was. It was this very beautiful, eye-opening, tears-with-joy moment when I realized that there’s a future for me,” he explained.

Smith wasn’t the only LGBTQ+ person to be recognized by People. Provocateur Lil Nas X also made the list, along with “Pose” star Dyllón Burnside and Smith’s “9-1-1” co-star Ronen Rubinstein.

“We are honored in the sexiest of ways @ People,” Rubinstein said in a Twitter post. “Thank you for including Brian Michael Smith and I.”

About the Author:

Jason A. Michael
Jason A. Michael joined Between The Lines as a contributing writer in 1999. He has received both the Spirit of Detroit Award (presented by the Detroit City Council) and the Media Award from the Community Pride Banquet & Awards Ceremony for his writing and activism. Jason is also an Essence magazine bestselling author for his authorized biography "Strength Of A Woman: The Phyllis Hyman Story," released on his own JAM Books imprint.