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Chella Man

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Chella Man
photo of Chella Man
Chella Man in 2019
Born (1998-11-26) November 26, 1998 (age 25)[1]
Years active2017–present
Websitewww.chellaman.com Edit this at Wikidata

Chella Man (born November 26, 1998)[2] is an American actor, model, artist, YouTuber, and LGBTQ activist. They[a] are known for sharing their experiences as a transgender, deaf, Asian, and Jewish person of color. Man rose to wider prominence in 2019 for portraying a Deaf superhero Jericho in the second season of the DC Universe series Titans.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Chella Man was born November 26, 1998, and is of Chinese and Jewish descent.[6] They were raised in a small town in a conservative Central Pennsylvania community, where they "did not consider [themself] beautiful".[6] Man was assigned female at birth and experienced gender dysphoria during childhood.

Man began to lose their hearing at four years old. By age 13, they were profoundly deaf, and the next year they received their first cochlear implant. At 16 they had a second implant placed in their other ear.[7]

In 2017, after experiencing gender dysphoria throughout their childhood, Man began transitioning using testosterone.[8] Their use of masculinizing hormone therapy,[9] along with top surgery, helped with their identity, self-esteem, and body image.[10]

As of 2019, Man is a student at The New School in Manhattan where they study virtual reality programming.[6][11]


In March 2017, they created their YouTube channel where they posted videos about their personal experiences with gender dysphoria, their identity, their love life, and American Sign Language translation videos to popular songs.[10][12] Man stated in an interview with Teen Vogue, "There is an extreme lack of representation for young, Deaf, queer, Jewish, Asian, transgender artists...So, I decided to be my own representation."[6] Man also posts videos that attempt to mobilize young voters and discuss the political effects of the Trump administration, whom they did not support.[6] Man began doing so after president Donald Trump visited their high school during his presidential campaign.[13]

In May 2018, Man presented their TedX Talk entitled Becoming Him (still going by he/him at the time) in which they talk about their transition journey and gender issues for LGBTQ youth and people with disabilities.[14]

Man signed to IMG as their first Deaf Jewish-Asian model in September 2018.[5][6][11] They have modeled for magazines including The Advocate, Bad Hombre, Time Out, Dazed, Gay Times and Mission,[15] and for brands including Calvin Klein, Gap, and American Eagle.[16][17][18][19][20]

In March 2019, it was announced that Man would make their acting debut as Jericho, a mute crime fighter, for the DC Universe's digital series Titans in its second season.[5][21][12] Man stated that they connected to the character, who uses sign language to communicate. They discuss the importance of disabled actors playing disabled characters to support proper representation, stating, "Casting disabled actors/actresses for disabled roles will aid to authentically represent and deconstruct stereotypes built around our identities".[5][2] Man has discussed and worked alongside fellow disabilities activist Judith Heumann, and queer activist Jillian Mercado.[22][23]

In March 2021, Man appeared on Tamron Hall,[24] discussing their transition that went viral in 2017.[25]

In June 2021, Man is a recently published author to Penguin Random House; their book, Continuum was the newest addition to the Pocket Change Collective,[26] a series focused on creating a space to discuss gender, sexuality, activism and intersectionality within the literary world.

In October 2021, Man became one of the first out transmasculine non-binary and genderqueer faces to work with a major beauty brand, as a member of the team of young influencers Yves Saint Laurent assembled to promote their Nu Collection, aimed at a Gen Z audience.[27][28]


Man paints, designs tattoos, and has interest in fashion design.[6][29] Man described how they find inspiration as "pulled from anything I stumble upon that I find aesthetically pleasing. This could be a Picasso in the MoMA or a polka-dotted hat on the NY subway."[30]

Featured on their YouTube channel, Man's art publication is a 3-minute long visual performance, The Beauty of Being Deaf, promoting a jewelry collection that transforms hearing aids into ear jewelry. Man stated they created this jewelry collection as a way to introduce Deaf people into the fashion industry, as well as removing the stigma for wearing hearing aids and cochlear implants. They state, "Yet the appearance of hearing aids and cochlear implants have always created a disconnect. The pieces never felt like me, and I had no control over their designs. I always found myself brainstorming ways to reclaim the machinery that had become a part of me."[31][32]

In March 2023, they released a short film The Device That Turned Me Into A Cyborg Was Born The Same Year I Was, "explor[ing] their complex relationship with the cochlear implant, and navigating identity between the deaf and hearing worlds".[33]

Personal life[edit]

Man communicates in English and American Sign Language and most closely identifies with the bicultural identity for deaf people.[34]

Man identifies as queer and pansexual,[35] having come out at age 16. [36] They were previously in a relationship with MaryV Benoit, an artist and photographer.[37]

Man is non-binary and genderqueer. Man went by he/him pronouns since coming out as transgender but changed their Instagram bio to read they/them[3] in late 2023.[citation needed] In 2019, they specifically stated that they do not identify as a trans man, despite still going by he/him at the time.[38]

Honors and awards[edit]


Year Title Role Notes
2019 Titans Jericho 4 episodes
2021 Trans in Trumpland Producer
2021 The Beauty of Being Deaf[46][31] Director, producer, editor

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Man uses they/them pronouns, as found on their Instagram account biography[3] as well as in media coverage.[4]


  1. ^ "Chella Man on Instagram: "MaryV had me come home blindfolded last night. So, this morning when I woke up, the first thing I saw was these golden balloons above our..."". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 25, 2021. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Trans, Deaf Artist Chella Man Cast as Superhero in DC's Titans". Out.com. March 19, 2019. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Instagram: Chella Man". Retrieved June 29, 2024.
  4. ^ Small, Zachary (May 24, 2024). "With a Body Double, an Artist Reflects on Life as a Trans-Deaf Influencer". New York Times.
  5. ^ a b c d Yam, Kimberly (March 22, 2019). "Deaf Transgender Actor Chella Man Talks Being Cast In Titans As Jericho". HuffPost. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Cummings, Faith (September 18, 2018). "Chella Man Is the First Deaf Transgender Model to Sign to IMG". Teen Vogue. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  7. ^ Man, Chella (February 28, 2018). "Man-Made: Why I'm Proud to Be Deaf (And Queer) AF". them. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  8. ^ Man, Chella (July 31, 2018). "Man-Made: I Documented My First Year on Testosterone, And It Changed My Life". them. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  9. ^ Newfield, Emily; Hart, Stacey; Dibble, Suzanne; Kohler, Lori (June 7, 2006). "Female-to-male transgender quality of life". Quality of Life Research. 15 (9): 1447–1457. doi:10.1007/s11136-006-0002-3. ISSN 0962-9343. PMID 16758113. S2CID 12727036.
  10. ^ a b Weinstock, Tish; Pressigny, Clementine de (March 6, 2018). "this deaf, genderqueer artist documented his entire transition on youtube". i-D. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Azoulay, Bonnie (October 12, 2018). "This Deaf Jewish-Asian Transgender Model Just Made History". The Forward. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  12. ^ a b "18 Things to Know About Chella Man". Alma. July 18, 2019. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  13. ^ Yerebakan, Osman Can (January 11, 2019). "20-Year-Old Artist Chella Man Is the Face of A Movement". L'Officiel USA. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  14. ^ Becoming Him | Chella Man | TEDxRanneySchool, TEDx Talks, retrieved October 25, 2019 – via YouTube
  15. ^ "Chella Man". Models.com. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  16. ^ Fox, Sam (June 11, 2018). "4 Queer Heroes Share Why Personal Style Matters". them. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  17. ^ This is Chella Man IRL in #MyCalvins, Calvin Klein, retrieved December 3, 2019 – via YouTube
  18. ^ "Chella Man and Kimberly Drew Front GAP's Colorful Campaign". Paper. August 1, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  19. ^ a b Rasmussen, Tom (May 13, 2019). "Queer model Chella Man is the multihyphenate to watch". Dazed. Retrieved April 9, 2021.
  20. ^ "Chella Man covers the 500th issue of Gay Times Magazine". Gay Times. September 27, 2019. Retrieved April 9, 2021.
  21. ^ Ellis, Philip (March 20, 2019). "Deaf, Transgender Artist Chella Man Will Play Superhero Jericho in DC's Titans". Men's Health. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  22. ^ Chella Man: The Power of Community, Judith Heumann, retrieved April 9, 2021 – via YouTube
  23. ^ "jillian mercado on Instagram: "I collaborated with @nycpride during Pride month to have open conversations with a few of my very good friends about being queer, call to..."". Instagram. Retrieved April 9, 2021.
  24. ^ Ts Madison/Angelica Ross/Chella Man (Talk-Show), Tamron Hall, Ts Madison, Chella Man, Angelica Ross, March 16, 2021, retrieved April 9, 2021{{citation}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  25. ^ Chella Man Is Challenging Gender Roles & Encouraging Us to Be More Expansive, Tamron Hall, retrieved April 9, 2021 – via YouTube
  26. ^ "Continuum by Chella Man; Illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky". Penguin Random House Canada. Retrieved April 9, 2021.
  27. ^ Street, Mikelle (October 21, 2021). "Chella Man is the First Trans Masculine Face of YSL Beauty". Out.com. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  28. ^ Mitchell, Amanda (August 10, 2021). "YSL Beauty's Nu Collection Is Good For Not Just Your Face, But The World At Large". Grazia. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  29. ^ Cadogan, Dominic (March 20, 2019). "Trans model and activist Chella Man cast to make acting debut". Dazed. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  30. ^ Fisher, Remy (July 31, 2017). "Meet Non-Conforming Artist Chella Man". Arts + Culture. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  31. ^ a b Allaire, Christian (March 15, 2021). "A New Jewelry Collaboration Celebrates the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Communities". Vogue. Retrieved July 10, 2021.
  32. ^ The Beauty of Being Deaf, Chella Man, March 15, 2021, retrieved April 9, 2021 – via YouTube
  33. ^ Man, Chella (March 24, 2023). "The Device That Turned Me Into A Cyborg Was Born The Same Year I Was". Nowness. Retrieved March 29, 2023.
  34. ^ Chapman, Madeleine; Dammeyer, Jesper (2017). "The Relationship Between Cochlear Implants and Deaf Identity". American Annals of the Deaf. 162 (4): 319–332. doi:10.1353/aad.2017.0030. ISSN 1543-0375. PMID 29129834. S2CID 27876630.
  35. ^ https://glaad.org/chella-man-trans-deaf-chinese-jewish-artist-talks-about-his-many-interlocking-identities-lgbtqa/
  36. ^ https://www.instagram.com/chellaman/p/CJHYmSYMXYU/?img_index=1
  37. ^ Ferber, Lawrence (October 25, 2019). "Trans, Deaf Titans Star Chella Man is the Craziest, Sexiest Superhero on TV". NewNowNext.com. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  38. ^ https://www.instagram.com/chellaman/p/B4X_YdUHZIw/
  39. ^ "OUT100: Chella Man, Model, Artist, Activist". Out.com. November 14, 2018. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  40. ^ Gremore, Graham (May 20, 2019). "How "deaf, Jewish, genderqueer, transmasculine person of color" Chella Man is changing the world". Queerty. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  41. ^ Ermac, Raffy (June 24, 2019). "Chella Man Is the Hero TV Needs Right Now". Pride.com. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  42. ^ "Past Winners". Shorty Awards. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  43. ^ "Chella Man, Nominated in LGBTQ+ Account". Shorty Awards. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  44. ^ Man, Chella [@chellamanart] (February 18, 2020). "Honored to be judging this year's Shorty Awards! Thank you for having me! RT @ShortyAwards Please welcome @chellamanart to our academy! Chella is a very talented artist, model and advocate for the deaf and the LGBTQ community! Read more about him here: http://bit.ly/2Sze1r4" (Tweet). Retrieved October 31, 2021 – via Twitter.
  45. ^ "Chella Man Wants to Heal Divides and End 'Harmful Gatekeeping' in the LGBTQ Community".
  46. ^ https://vimeo.com/523856247

External links[edit]