Laverne Cox, best known for her role as Sophia Burset in the hit series Orange is the New Black, has a whole host of "firsts" under her fashionable belt. She was the first trans person to be nominated for an Emmy, as well as the first trans person to appear on the cover of Time and Cosmopolitan. She also received a daytime Emmy as an executive producer on Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word, making her the first trans person to receive such an award. She also became the first trans person to play a series regular on a broadcast television show in the United States. Cox also became the first trans person to have a wax figure made of her, which is displayed at the famed Madame Tussaud's museum.
In addition to her acting career, she is also a documentary maker, as well as a prominent human rights activist. Her work in activism, which is heavily centered on trans and other LGBTQIA+ rights, was honored by GLAAD in 2014, when she received the organization's Stephen F. Kozlak award.
"My beauty is not about how I look," Cox once said. "My beauty is about my heart and soul." While there is no doubt that Cox is a stunningly beautiful woman, her resolve, generosity, and conviction in fighting for what right is what truly sets her apart from the rest. It wasn't always possible to be publicly transgender, let alone to be out and proud about it, even in show business, and for that we salute Laverne Cox for her dedication to improving the lives of all LGBTQIA+ people everywhere, particularly those who are trans.