Cosmopolitan Magazine Puts A Transgender Model On Its Cover

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Jena Greene Reporter
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Laverne Cox, the transgender protagonist on Netflix’ original series “Orange Is The New Black,” is now the first openly transgender person to be featured on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine.

While this is Cosmo’s first transgender person on the cover, it’s not Cox’s first time being honored. TIME featured her in 2014 as the symbol for the next civil rights frontier.

But this Cosmo cover is different. While TIME  covers a variety of unconventional topics, Cosmo’s audience is primarily geared toward young, working women. It covers topics like sex, makeup, fashion, and pop culture. According to Cosmo South Africa’s Twitter, its primary goal is to be “the quintessential go-to for fun, fearless females.”

Which is odd, since the word “female” is a pretty black-and-white biological term for somebody who was born a girl. While Cox underwent gender reassignment surgery several years ago and routinely shuts down anyone who asks about it, she’s not biologically female.

Even more interesting is the fact that Cox likened her feature in Cosmo to the first time an African American was put on the cover. “42 years ago this month @iambeverlyjohnson became the first black woman to appear on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine,” she said in a behind the scenes photo shoot. “Thanks Ms. Johnson for paving the way for all of the black women who have followed you over the years on Cosmo covers.”

The only difference between black and transgender individuals is that black individuals are actually born that way, while transgender people choose to alter their biology. It was problematic when Michael Jackson altered his race, yet somehow we’re now celebrating people who alter their gender.

“Transgender women deserve to be loved out in the open and in the light,” she says in her behind the scenes shoot.

Here’s a look at some of the previous Cosmo covers featuring biological females.