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On Thursday, a new TIME cover featuring Orange Is The New Black star and transgender activist Laverne Cox made its rounds on the internet and we couldn’t be more proud.

First and foremost, she looks amazing. The influence of having a powerful and positive image of a transgendered individual on the cover of an acclaimed publication is immeasurable. And with an accompanying story that sheds light on truly understanding trans identities, it’s clear we’ve reached a “transgender tipping point,” as the article is so aptly named.

And though broad — the article is a sort of “Transgender 101” that covers the issues affecting the trans community and their influence on American culture — the profile is sure to pave the way for more in-depth coverage of these issues, and, hopefully, stop the erasure of the positive impact the trans community has on our society.

Picking up the historical cover is certainly on our to-do list, but here are a few points made in the profile that you don’t want to miss…

From Think Progress:

  • The stories focus not on what it means to transition, but on what it’s like being transgender in a world that is not accepting and understanding of transgender people.
  • The main feature emphasizes the discrimination transgender people experience, including how they are “significantly more likely to be impoverished, unemployed, and suicidal than other Americans.”
  • In a brief history of society’s understanding of trans identities, Katy Steinmetz parses out the differences between the biology of sex, the culture of gender, and the differences between sexual orientation — “who you want to go to bed with” — and gender identity — “who you want to go to bed as.”
  • Steinmetz highlights many obstacles that remain to transgender equality: full inclusion in public schools and in athletics, inclusion in the military and at women’s colleges, changes to legal documentation, access to inclusive health care coverage, and blatant discrimination in employment, housing, and basic services — and the mental health consequences that follow.
  • Steinmetz invites Cox to get personal about why people might respond defensively to understanding what it means to be transgender. She explained, “People need to be willing to let go of what they think they know about what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman… I think the reality is that most of us are insecure about our gender.”

We want to thank Cox for being open and understanding about her story and applaud her for her tireless activism in that space.

Congratulations!

SOURCE: TIME, Think Progress | PHOTO CREDIT: TIME

Trans Activist Laverne Cox Looking Absolutely ***FLAWLESS (PHOTOS)
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