Laverne Cox has made history by becoming the first transgender person to grace the front cover of Time magazine. The Netflix’s Orange is the New Black star became one of the breakout personalities for her role as Sophie Burset when the show aired.
In the revolutionary current issue, the actress and trans advocate openly speaks of her gutsy journey and her battle for transgender rights.
“There’s not just one trans story,” Cox, who was born a male but only physically, tells Time magazine. “There’s not just one trans experience. And I think what [people] need to understand is that not everybody who is born feels that their gender identity is in alignment with what they’re assigned at birth, based on their genitalia. If someone needs to express their gender in a way that is different, that is okay, and they should not be denied healthcare. They should not be bullied. They don’t deserve to be victims of violence…That’s what people need to understand, that it’s okay and that if you are uncomfortable with it, then you need to look at yourself.”
Her trans story began at a young age and according to Cox, in her third grade was when she had a revelation. “Up until that point I just thought that I was a girl and that there was no difference between girls and boys,” she admits. “I think in my imagination I thought that I would hit puberty and I would start turning into a girl.”
Unfortunately, Cox went through more than plenty of physical and verbal abuse whilst growing up. Sadly, at one point, she even succumbed to the worst and tried to take her own life. Cox also points out that kids today are perhaps luckier that she was as these days there are role models for support and reassurance.
“I think there are more media representations that young trans people can look to and say, that’s me, in an affirming way,” she says. “There’s just so many resources out there now that it makes you feel like you’re less alone and gives some sort of sense of, ‘Okay, this is who I am and this is what I’m going through,’ as opposed to being, ‘What the f–k is wrong with me?’ That was what I grew up with.”
Cox’s history-making Time cover has caught the attention and praises from many, like Ellen DeGeneres who is in her own right a pioneer herself. She took to Twitter and typed a celebratory message, “@LaverneCox is the first transgender person to appear on the cover of Time magazine. It’s about Time.”
We couldn’t agree more, Ellen!