National Geographic Puts 9-Year-Old Transgender Girl Avery Jackson on the Cover

Major magazines have begun launching their new issues for the new year, leading us to have an idea of what’s to come in 2017. Vogue recently announced their January issue with Ruth Negga, but in the pages we find activists and models of color such as DeRay Mckesson, Ellis Tracee Ross, Alek Wek, Angok Mayen, Ajak Deng, Grace Bol, Achok Majak and even the captivating transgender superstar model Hari Nef. Why does this matter? Well Vogue, as many of you may know, is one of the most powerful magazines in fashion. Whatever appears in their pages is exclusively selected by editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and as she likes to put it, “I see the role of Vogue to reflect what’s going on in the culture.” Meaning that it is mostly likely important.

National Geographic has now decided to do the same, as they have for the last 128 years, except with an issue based on the “Gender Revolution.” They announced their new special edition cover with 9-year-old transgender girl Avery Jackson from Kansas City, Missouri who gained national attention from a YouTube video last year. “Hi, I’m Avery. I’m 7 years old. I like to climb trees, be a ninja, pretend I’m animal, and all sorts of things, and like pretending I’m people from games, I like playing with my brother… and, oh yeah, I’m transgender,” said Avery in the video. The cover was caption with the following quote exclaimed by Ms. Jackson: “The best thing about being a girl is, now I don’t have to pretend to be a boy.”

The second cover is a group photo featuring seven different people of all races and genders with bubbles surrounding their gender identity.

In conversation with NBC Out, editor-in-chief Susan Goldberg said [about the cover], “National Geographic is almost 130 years old, and we have been covering cultures, societies and social issues for all of those years. It struck us, listening to the national conversation, that gender was at the center of so many of these issues in the news. We wanted to look at how traditional gender roles play out all over the world, but also look into gender as a spectrum. There’s lots of coverage on celebrities, but there wasn’t an understanding on real people and the issues we face every day in classrooms or workplaces in regards to gender.”

To purchase the issue, you can call 1-800-777-2800 or wait for the issue to be in stores on December 27. Meanwhile, they give subscribers a sneak peak with an article titled “How Today’s Toys May Be Harming Your Daughter” where they discusses “the long history of separate toys for boys and girls” online.

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Fernando Reyes
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High-school teenager with interests in fashion, writing and film.

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