Laverne Cox: OITNB actress is first transgender person to appear on the cover of Time magazine

The Orange Is The New Black actress discusses her fight for transgender rights and her own difficult journey of self-discovery

Laverne Cox has made history by becoming the first transgender person to appear on the cover of Time magazine.

In the accompanying feature, The Orange Is The New Black actress discusses her fight for transgender rights and her own difficult journey of self-discovery.

"There's not just one trans story," she told the publication. "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."

 

For Cox, her own personal trans-story started when she was in the third grade.

 

"Up until that point I just thought that I was a girl and that there was no difference between girls and boys," she continued. "I think in my imagination I thought that I would hit puberty and I would start turning into a girl."

She goes on to describe the physical and verbal abuse she suffered through her teens, but said that she believes young transgender people growing up today have greater role models, and more in the way of support.

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"I think there are more media representations that young trans people can look to and say, that's me, in an affirming way.

"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."

The new season of prison drama Orange Is The New Black will be available on Netflix from 6 June 2014.

See her interview with Time magazine in full here. The issue is out on 9 June.

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