This week’s issue of Time features Laverne Cox, one of the stars of “Orange Is the New Black.” In an online Q&A promoting the story “The Transgender Tipping Point: America’s Next Civil Rights Frontier,” by Katy Steinmetz, Cox talks about what’s changed for transgender people.
Where is America when it comes to the acceptance of trans people?
We are in a place now where more and more trans people want to come forward and say ‘This is who I am.’ And more trans people are willing to tell their stories. More of us are living visibly and pursuing our dreams visibly, so people can say, ‘Oh yeah, I know someone who is trans.’ When people have points of reference that are humanizing, that demystifies difference. Social media has been a huge part of it and the Internet has been a huge part of it, where we’re able to have a voice in a way that we haven’t been able to before. We’re being able to write our stories and we’re being able to talk back to the media … We are the reason. And we are setting the agenda in a different way.
In a video accompanying the Q&A, Cox says the LGBTQ community should take on race and class issues.
Of course this isn’t Cox’s first cover. Here she is on the May cover of Frontiers LA.
Here she is on the cover of VIBE Vixen in November of 2013.
And in August of 2013, she was on the cover of David Atlanta.
— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) August 22, 2013
That same month she was on the cover of Metro Weekly.
In 1997, Time featured Ellen DeGeneres on the cover, where she talked about coming out. Here’s what she tweeted today:
.@LaverneCox is the first transgender person to appear on the cover of Time magazine. It's about Time.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) May 29, 2014
Poynter’s Lauren Klinger has written about how journalists should cover people in the transgender community.
She wrote: “The kinds of stories journalists write, what information they include, and how they ask for that information are all just as important or more important than which words they use.”