‘Orange Is The New Black‘ star and trans rights activist Laverne Cox graces the cover for an upcoming issue of TIME magazine. This all comes after she was suspiciously left off TIME’s 100 Most Influential list this year, even though she came fifth place on the mag’s online poll. Whether it’s meant to appease fans, or say “whoops, we effed up,” Cox is more than deserving of the profile.
The actress discusses being bullied as a child, and the time when she realized that she was transgender:
“I tell this story about third grade. My third grade teacher called my mom and said ‘Your son is going to end up in New Orleans wearing a dress.’ Up until that point I just thought that I was a girl and that there was no difference between girls and boys. I think in my imagination I thought that I would hit puberty and I would start turning into a girl.”
After overcoming depression, which led to a suicide attempt, Cox says that she does consider herself a happy person, saying
“I’m so busy and I’m living my dream. I feel like myself and I feel pretty integrated, like the person that I am inside is who the world is seeing, which feels calming.”
She mentions that a great support system and therapy have also helped her to cope with her childhood trauma. And for people that still don’t understand, or refuse to, what it means to be a trans man or woman, she offers up some great advice,
“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. Because that doesn’t necessarily mean anything inherently. Folks are just really uncomfortable with that sense of uncertainty, or that shift.”
You can read the whole cover story when the issue hits newsstands on June 9. If you’re missing Sophia Burset and the rest of OITNB gang, Netflix will start streaming the second season of the series on June 6!