The model says she felt compelled to come out given the current political climate
The model says she felt compelled to come out given the current political climate

New York Fashion Week: Model Teddy Quinlivan reveals she is a transgender woman

She hopes her honesty will encourage acceptance and tolerance

Sarah Young
Monday 18 September 2017 12:12

One of the fashion industry’s most famous up-and-coming models has just revealed that she is transgender.

Teddy Quinlivan might have spent the last week walking for labels like Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Coach and Tory Burch, but now she’s making headlines for a very different reason.

In a special interview with CNN and an accompanying three-part video on her Instagram page, the model revealed publicly for the first time that she is a transgender woman.

Directed by Amber Grace Johnson, the mini-film features Quinlivan speaking openly about how she felt growing up as a male with home movies from her childhood interspersed with a voice-over from her mother.

“I remember living my whole life as male, but feeling like I was playing a part,” she says.

“I always knew I was female, just in my soul, in my heart, in my brain. I kind of knew I had to pretend to be male to appease everybody else. At one point I just stopped giving a f***.”

The model, who came into the spotlight after appearing in a Louis Vuitton show two years ago says that she felt compelled to come out given the current political climate.

"There's been violence against transgender people — particularly transgender women of colour — since before I even knew what transgender was. I just felt a great sense of urgency. I'm very fortunate to be in [a] position [that] I never really thought I would be. It's really important to take advantage of a time like this," she explained.

Despite feeling nervous about her announcement, Quinlivan was comforted by the success of fellow trasngender models such as Hari Nef and Anreja Pejic and knowing that it doesn’t signal the end of your career.

“If being transgender is something that gets attached to my name throughout my career, then it's for a worthy cause. But I look forward to the day when it doesn't matter,” she said.

“I don't think it's a problem because I don't think there's anything wrong with being trans.

“I'm a woman first and foremost... I'm a model but I'm also transgender, and I think in a time when I can count most transgender celebrities on my hands, [this] is crucial.”

In light of the revelation, several high profile stars have spoken out in support of her decision to come out as transgender including designer Marc Jacobs.

“I respect, admire and support Teddy's decision to come out as transgender,” he told CNN.

“Now more than ever it is vital that we pledge our allegiance to the LGBT community and use our voices to encourage and inspire acceptance, equality, understanding and love.”

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