American actress, Laverne Cox has made history by becoming the first transgender woman to grace the cover of Time magazine.
Alabama-born Cox, who is best known for playing inmate Sophia Burset in Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, is featured under the headline 'The Transgender Tipping Point'.
As an advocate of the LGBT community, Cox uses her interview in the June issue of the publication to discuss the issues she faced as an effeminate young boy and the bullying she endured growing up.
She also highlights the prejudices that transgender people are subjected to, calling for more respect and understanding.
"There's not just one trans story. There's not just one trans experience. And I think what they 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," she told Time magazine.
"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."
The cover comes just weeks after Time failed to include her on its Time 100 list of most influential people, despite Cox being one of the highest vote-getters in online polls.
But it looks like Cox has forgiven the snub and choose to celebrate her milestone instead.
"Thanks @TIME for this lovely bday present, a cover story 2 highlight the profound issues trans people face everyday," she tweeted.
IBTimes UK gets to know the star a little better...
Laverne Cox Facts
- She is an American actress, reality television star, television producer and LGBT advocate.
- Her age is unknown.
- Cox is best known for playing Sophia Burset, a transgender inmate in Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.
- Her twin brother is musician M. Lamar.
- She produced and co-hosted the VH1 makeover television series TRANSform Me.
- In April 2014, she received honoured the Stephen F. Kolzak Award from GLADD for her work as an advocate for the transgender community.
- She was born in Mobile, Alabama but moved to New York to pursue acting.
- She began her transition after moving to Manhattan.
- Cox attempted suicide at the tender age of 11 due to shame and school bullies. "I learned in church that [being gay] was a sin. So I went to the medicine cabinet and got a bottle of pills. And took them. And swallowed them. And went to sleep, hoping not to wake up," she revealed.
Watch video of Laverne Cox at the #glaadawards