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Rocking the cover of Cosmopolitan South Africa’s February issue is none other than Orange Is The New Black star Laverne Cox. Aside from effortlessly sporting beachy waves and a bodysuit giving full #SingleLadies vibes on the cover, Cox also is making history by being the FIRST transgender woman to ever appear on a cover of Cosmopolitan! Yaaas! Congratulations, beauty!

Right in time for Valentine’s Day, the issue is focused on LGBTQI+ issues with #SayYesToLove, a love campaign that calls for inclusive love. In the issue, Cox shares a letter on love and acceptance as a trans woman, challenging people to not only live their own truths but embrace others’ truths as well. “Your voice matters, the truth of who you know yourselves to be matters. The truth will set you free!” Cox wrote.

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Cox’s empowering message of everyone deserving to be loved is one we all can preach, especially in a political climate that seeks to erase countless marginalized groups from the threshold of importance. At the end of the day, we all deserve to be loved for who we are. “Trans women deserve to be loved out in the open and in the light,” she said. “Let go of fear and live a fun, fearless life. If I can do it, you can do it.”

Holly Meadows, the Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan South Africa, noted that this issue in particular aimed to not only promote and provide visibility for the LGBTQI community, but also to “disrupt hetero-normative ideas around February and Valentine’s Day and look at love in 2018.” The issue also features 17 LGBTQI+ advocates in a campaign to celebrate love in all forms of gender identity and sexuality.

As media continues to disrupt norms by challenging how we view and reflect, we champion leaders like Laverne Cox for fearlessly empowering other people to be proud in their own skin.

Watch her exclusive interview with Cosmopolitan South Africa below:


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