theGrio’s 100: B. Scott, breakthrough transgender star spawns media empire

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Who is B. Scott?

An American television personality and Internet celebrity, the openly gay and transgender B. Scott has built his own media empire supported by millions of fans, which she has labeled “love muffins.” Scott’s incredibly popular appearances on both YouTube and his own site have provided him an outlet  to report on entertainment news, gossip and fashion. He’s also interviewed celebrities like Mariah CareyNe-YoChaka KhanAubrey O’Day and Ashanti.

Why is he on theGrio’s 1oo?

The 32-year-old rising star, who was born Brandon Sessoms, made headlines after a brief foray into more mainstream exposure on BET. Hired to perform red carpet duties during last June’s BET Awards, Scott says the network tried to censor her appearance and he has since launched a high profile lawsuit against BET for gender discrimination.

“It’s not just about the fact that BET forced me to pull my hair back, asked me to take off my makeup, made me change my clothes and prevented me from wearing a heel,” Scott wrote on his website the day after the show.“It’s more so that from the mentality and environment created by BET made me feel less than and that something was wrong with who I am as a person.” Scott’s campaign against the channel has galvanized supporters of transgender rights and only raised his profile more.

What’s next for Scott?

B. Scott recently appeared on two episodes of Chef Roble’s reality TV show and appears to be a prime candidate for his own program. It is obvioous that Scott takes pride in sharing her transgender lifestyle, but she also feels a sense of responsibility. “[Folks] remember people who challenge their thought process, or their labels, or what they’re comfortable with,” Scott told The Advocate in September. “And so I’m going to use that power to educate them about people like me. I want to use that power to show other people like me that they have that power too. And we can use it for good.”

“Yes, I am a transgender person,” he added. “And yes, I am so gay! I love it — I’ll shout it from the rooftops! And it won’t change. It’s my truth. It’s who I am, it’s my essence.”