Laverne Cox can add “Cosmopolitan covergirl” to her ever-growing list of credits and accomplishments.
The Emmy-winning actress, producer and LGBTQ rights advocate made history as the first transgender woman ever to appear on a Cosmo cover, appearing atop Cosmopolitan South Africa’s February issue in a sheer black leotard. The Valentine’s Day-themed #SayYesToLove edition is focused on LGBTQ issues, and features a rainbow-colored masthead designed specifically for the occasion.
In a video interview (see above) that accompanied the issue’s release, Cox got candid about her celebrity crush, her proudest career moment and her ongoing struggle for acceptance in the heteronormative world of show business.
“As a black transgender woman, I’ve often been kept a secret by the men that I’ve dated,” she said. “So when my ex-boyfriend introduced me to his dad and invited me to spend Hanukkah with him and his family, it was the most special thing ever.”
She added, “Trans women deserve to be loved out in the open and in the light.”
Previously, Cox appeared in the October 2016 issue of Cosmopolitan’s U.S. edition, paying tribute to Tina Turner, Beyoncé and other iconic black women in a photo feature to promote her role in Fox’s television reboot of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
Holly Meadows, who is Cosmopolitan South Africa’s editor-in-chief, said the magazine aimed to “disrupt heteronormative ideas around February and Valentine’s Day and look at love in 2018” in its latest issue.
“Our goal was to play a small part in providing visibility for the LGBTQI+ community, of which Laverne has become a revolutionary icon,” she added.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.