This is a big deal: National Geographic will have a transgender person on its cover for the first time in the magazine’s history. Similar news occurred earlier this year when Women’s Running featured its first transgender woman on the cover, but we think it’s safe to say that Avery Jackson, a 9-year-old transgender girl, is one of the youngest people to end up on such a prominent magazine cover.
— Debi Jackson (@transgirl_mom) December 14, 2016
Avery’s portrait will appear on the January 2017 cover of the magazine, which was created as supplemental material for National Geographic’s upcoming documentary, Gender Revolution. Avery always knew she was a girl, saying in the cover photo’s caption, “The best thing about being a girl is, now I don’t have to be pretend to be a boy.”
In a move that shows how vital it is for parents to support their LGBTQ children, Avery’s parents Debi and Tim Jackson have been outspoken about their love for their daughter. Debi, a conservative Christian, has used her YouTube channel to share Avery’s story, while Tim wrote an essay for The New York Times about the reality of raising a transgender child. “I love my daughter for who she is without preconditions, and I promise to help nurture her into a becoming a happy, healthy, and productive member of society,” he wrote. “After all, isn’t that our job as parents?”
Teen Voguepoints out that violence against transgender people is at an all-time high in the United States, so the importance of this cover is needed now more than ever. Congrats to Avery and her family!