Laverne Cox, an actress who stars on "Orange Is The New Black," graces the cover of the June 9 issue for Time magazine for its cover story "The Transgender Tipping Point."
While the magazine's cover story explores the rise of transgender awareness and profiles individuals who are making strides like Cox, there is also a Q&A feature with the actress in which she talks about her experience as a transgender woman and as an LGBT advocate. There are also videos, which can be viewed below, of Cox's cover shoot and a clip of her talking to a young girl about being bullied.
When asked what people in America need to understand about what being transgender means, the actress responded, "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. If someone needs to express their gender in a way that is different, that is okay, and they should not be denied healthcare. They should not be bullied. They don't deserve to be victims of violence," she added. "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."
Cox's appearance on the cover of the magazine comes after Time was criticized online for not including Cox in its "100 Most Influential People" list, despite getting overwhelming support in a reader poll featured on the magazine's website, according to Entertainment Weekly.
The actress, who is celebrating a birthday on Thursday, May 29, also addressed that poll controversy, which spawned the hashtag #whereisLaverneCox at the time, when she talked about her Time cover on Twitter.
"#whereislavernecox on the cover of @TIME magazine. Thanks to everyone who used this # & spoke out.U made this happen," she tweeted Thursday.
She later added, "Thanks @TIME for this lovely bday present, a cover story 2 highlight the profound issues trans people face everyday."
Cox will reprise her role as Sophia Burset on season 2 of "Orange Is the New Black," which debuts on Netflix on June 6. Check out video of Cox below.