13 #TransIsBeautiful Photos From Laverne Cox's Hashtag That Remind Us Of The Importance Of Visibility
Laverne Cox is one of activists that I look up to most, so it came as no surprise to me that I felt moved by her essay about Caitlyn Jenner's Vanity Fair cover and subsequent #TransIsBeauty hashtag. The piece was posted through Cox's Tumblr, and she made important points about both acceptance and privilege. She stressed that, while she can personally "embody certain cisnormative beauty standards," not every trans person has the ability or the desire to meet those standards themselves.
While representations of trans women such as Jenner in the media are important, Cox points out that we need to see more diverse representation of trans people. No one trans individual can or should be representative of an entire community. So being the amazing activist that she is, Cox started the hashtag #TransIsBeautiful and, in her own words, here's why:
I started #TransIsBeautiful as a way to celebrate all those things that make trans folks uniquely trans, those things that don’t necessarily align with cisnormative beauty standards. For me it is necessary everyday to celebrate every aspect of myself especially those things about myself that don’t align with other people’s ideas about what is beautiful. #TransIsBeautiful is about, whether you’re trans or not, celebrating all those things that make us uniquely ourselves. Most trans folks don’t have the privileges Caitlyn and I have now have. It is those trans folks we must continue to lift up, get them access to healthcare, jobs, housing, safe streets, safe schools, and homes for our young people. We must lift up the stories of those most at risk, statistically trans people of color who are poor and working class.
Looking through the #TransIsBeautiful tag, I saw a lot of photos of Jenner. And that support is amazing. But I wanted to share the photos of a few of the other individuals posting to show why this hashtag is an important reminder that Jenner's narrative is only one of the many that we should know.
1. Lawton Braun
Braun's Instagram photo and the accompanying caption reminds us that scars are beautiful!
As a fan of inspirational quotes and feminism, I love that Nora's caption reminds us that being a woman doesn't mean you're weak.
Ashley is showing that you can't live your life based making other people comfortable at the expense of your own comfort.
Both in the caption and the comments, Rin shares excitement about taking testosterone shots.
5. Tiger Stone
This caption is a great reminder of why it's so important to build a supportive community during this journey.
6. Ty Underwood
I couldn't read this caption without tears welling up in my eyes. Sadly what happened to Underwood is not uncommon among trans women of color. GLAAD reports that violence against people of color and transgender individuals is disproportionately high.
Julian shows that while his physical appearance has changed, he's the same the guy.
8. Jennifer Lynne Justice
I am loving this OOTD selfie. I need to see an outfit with those amazing glitter pumps in the background!
EJ reminds us that family and friends are not always supportive of transition. But reading this caption made me happy that EJ is three months in and very positive. My favorite line is, "I feel so free, so free to be myself, and because of that, I've never been happier and it seems to be getting better everyday."
10. Jessica Taylor
While the hashtags on this photo hint at it, a look through Taylor's other photos (and her bio) reveal that she's a pilot. The organization Women in Aviation reports that only six percent of all pilots are women which means that Taylor is really breaking barriers for women in her industry.
11. Kathryn Black
12. Adrien Leavitt
The caption is simple but I think this photo is a goddamn work of art.
13. Sawyer DeVuyst
Model, visual artist, and furniture maker Sawyer DeVuyst aims to reclaim how trans men are seen through the photos posted on his Instagram everyday.