A symbol of strength and freedom. Laverne Cox is featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly's first LGBT issue in 15 years, and she poses as the Statue of Liberty in the striking shot.
Photographed by Alexei Hay, the Orange Is the New Black star becomes the iconic New York City installation wearing a plunging gown in the statue's muted green, paired with the trademark crown and glowing torch. Cox, 31, is joined on the inclusive issue by a color scheme matched to the rainbow flag, and a line reading, "TRANSFORMATION."
Inside the issue, Cox discuses the pressures of being one of the most visible and beloved modern-day transgender stars in Hollywood. She tells the mag about the focus she has on being a proud representative for the community, and the further hopes she has for establishing herself outside of a niche.
"I just wonder, am I allowed to be a human being?" she pondered to the mag.
She went on to acknowledge Caitlyn Jenner's recent transition and the questions she's fielded about the reality star's life change.
"I'm so grateful that I had the luxury of transitioning in private," said the star, who started booking acting roles in the early 2000s but rose to fame with her part as Sophia Burset on OITNB. "Because when you transition in the public eye, the transition becomes the story. I'm always disturbed when I see conversations about trans people that focus on surgery. But I believe Caitlyn will transcend this moment."
Jenner, 65, credited Cox as an inspiration in her transition. She mentioned the actress in her headline-making interview with Vanity Fair earlier this month, and Cox wrote a talked-about Tumblr post in response to the reveal.
"Yes, Caitlyn looks amazing and is beautiful but what I think is most beautiful about her is her heart and soul," Cox wrote at the time of the July issue's publication. "The ways she has allowed the world into her vulnerabilities. The love and devotion she has for her family and that they have for her. Her courage to move past denial into her truth so publicly. These things are beyond beautiful to me."