Laverne Cox is sending a powerful and meaning message on the cover of Entertainment Weekly‘s LGBT issue.
The transgender actress is dressed as an American icon, the Statue of Liberty, and is rocking it, flame torch and all. The very top of the cover reads, “America’s transformation,” in big white lettering.
This is EW‘s first LGBT issue in 15 years and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
“I just wonder, am I allowed to be a human being?” she says in the interview, referring to the pressure she feels as one of the biggest transgender icons in Hollywood. And though she did tell EW that she’s proud to represent the community, she’s also looking forward to breaking out of that niche.
“I’m so grateful that I had the luxury of transitioning in private,” Cox continued when Caitlyn Jenner was brought up. “Because when you transition in the public eye, the transition becomes the story. I’m always disturbed when I see conversations about trans people that focus on surgery. But I believe Caitlyn will transcend this moment.”
If anything, Jenner has been embracing the public awareness her transition is bringing to the forefront. Jenner credited Cox as one of the inspirations that made her feel comfortable coming out about her transition.
Cox responded to Jenner’s comment with a heartfelt Tumblr post, “Yes, Caitlyn looks amazing and is beautiful but what I think is most beautiful about her is her heart [and] soul. The ways she has allowed the world into her vulnerabilities. The love and devotion she has for her family and that they have for her. Her courage to move past denial into her truth so publicly. These things are beyond beautiful to me.”
Check out Cox’s full interview in EW‘s LGBT issue.