Speed Reads

Trans is the new black?

Time put Laverne Cox on its cover, breaking the transgender barrier

TIME/Twitter

On Thursday, Time revealed the cover for its June 9 issue, featuring transgender actress Laverne Cox. Cox, who stars in Orange Is the New Black, symbolizes "the transgender tipping point," Time says, and her cover represents an inflection point for TIME, too: Cox is the first transgender person to make its cover:

The hashtag #WhereIsLaverneCox that Cox uses above refers to the campaign to shame Time for not including the actress in its "Time 100" list last month. A cover story is a bigger prize, obviously. Time isn't the first major magazine to feature a transgender individual — New York put androgynous model Andrej Pejic on the cover of its 2011 Fall Fashion issue, for example, and Elle Brazil gave its cover to transgender model Lea T in December 2011; the New York Daily News had transgender pioneer Christine Jorgensen on its cover in 1952.

But this is still a pretty big deal for the transgender community. "There's not just one trans story," Cox tells Time's Katy Steinmetz. "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.'" That was probably the tipping point for gay rights. So maybe Time is right.