Avery Jackson, a nine-year-old girl from Kansas City, is the first transgender individual to grace the cover of the 128-year-old magazine, which is rolling out to subscribers this week in a special edition devoted solely to gender issues around the globe.
The January special edition, which includes a glossary of more than 20 terms redefining gender, is landing at a time when the political landscape is shifting and some fear a rollback in rights.
Avery is the perfect choice for this historic milestone. She's representative of the growing visibility of transgender people, and she drives the point home that being transgender isn't a choice, but just something you are.
“When I was born, doctors said I was a boy, but I knew in my heart I was a girl", Avery explains. “So I may have some boy body parts, but that’s not wrong, that is OK”. And she adds: "I really just wanted to be myself. I'm just a girl".