When the September magazine issues hit newsstands, you can now keep an eye out for one Ms. Laverne Cox. The actress has made her British Vogue cover debut in a project curated by Duchess of Sussex.
The cover itself feature 15 women in total, dubbed the “Forces for Change.” Amongst them are Christy Turlington Burns, Salma Hayek Pinault, Jane Fonda, Sinead Burke, and more.
“I am completely overwhelmed and overjoyed to share this cover,” Cox wrote in an Instagram post about the opportunity. “Being on the cover of Vogue magazine has been a dream of mine since I was a child. To get to share this cover with a group of women who inspire me, who are truly forces of change is deeply humbling.”
“That it’s British Vogue is even more special to me because British Vogue was the first [Vogue] to feature a black model on its cover, Donayale Luna in May 1966,” she wrote. (American Vogue came later, with Beverly Johnson in 1974.) “Thank you so much Edward Enninful and Guest editor Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex for including me.”
The cover marks Coxi’s first for Vogue, but she notably appeared on the cover of TIME in 2014 — also as the first trans person to do so.
Though she may be the first openly trans person on its cover, Cox follows a line of trans models in British Vogue. April Ashley was first in 1960, though at the time, her gender was not known. (When she was later outed, her work as a fashion model ended.) In February, journalist and activist Paris Lees became the first openly transgender person to receive a feature in the magazine, and went on to start a column with the book. Cox now adds to this legacy.
“We are at a crossroads in the world right now,” she says in an accompanying video. “The decisions that we make in every country around the world about how we’re going to treat women, how we’re going to treat immigrants, how we’re going to treat trans people and people of color, and how we’re going to treat our planet …” The video continues with other cover stars naming women who stand out to them as forces for change.