America is finally shifting its focus on transgender people with the hype surrounding Bruce Jenner’s interview on Friday night. Three transgender people have been making the news this week.
Men’s Health magazine featured a transgender man on the cover of its magazine for the very first time. The magazine is holding its annual “Ultimate Guy” contest that allows fans to vote for the man they think “possess all of the qualities that make up today’s well-rounded, active, health conscious and thoughtful guy.” Aydian Dowling took the crown as the “Ultimate Guy” and the first transgender man to make the health-conscious magazine.
It all started back in February when Dowling recreated Adam Levine’s 2011 naked photo shoot with Cosmpolitan.
The powerful photo included the message, “Some areas of my body used to remind me of everything I’m not. Now they represent everything I am.”
Dowling also spoke to the Huffington Post about becoming Men’s Health first transgender cover model.
“Being the first Trans Men’s Health cover model would mean so much to not only me — but the entire transgender community. Personally, it would affirm that my initial intentions for myself five years ago — when I decided to transition — are really coming to life. I wanted to become my version of what I feel is a ‘good man.’ Everything I represent in the ultimate guy contest is a manifestation of those efforts to be that ‘good man.'”
A transgender teen is winning a major case in South Carolina that gives her the right to wear makeup in her DMV photo. Chase Culpepper filed a lawsuit with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles for sex discriminating and violating her free speech, according to NPR News. She arrived at the DMV office in Anderson, South Carolina, in the spring of 2014 wearing makeup and feeling ready to take her driver’s license photo. Culpepper was told she had to remove her makeup because she was using them as a “disguise” when it’s part of who she really is. She identifies as a transgender woman but used male pronouns at the time.
The South Carolina DMV finally agreed to change its policy to allow people to be photographed as they present their everyday selves, even if their appearance doesn’t match the officials’ expectations of how the person should look. The department also promised to write Culpepper of a letter of apology and to train its employees how to treat transgender individuals. Culpepper exclaimed her excitement over winning the lawsuit.
“I am thrilled with the outcome of my lawsuit My clothing and makeup reflect who I am. From day one, all I wanted was to get a driver’s license that looks like me.”
Meanwhile, Andrea Pejic became the first transgender model to be featured in Vogue magazine. In a four-page spread titled “Has the Fashion Industry Reached a Transgender Turning Point,” Pejic explains how she immigrated to Australia and has come to terms with her gender identity, according to TakePart. She has already made headlines for being the first transgender model to walk for Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Marc Jacobs. However, Pejic described herself as gender-neutral until she underwent gender reassignment surgery. She also went on to become the face of Make Up For Ever, following the footsteps of Lea T and Jazz Jennings.
Pejic also spoke out about Bruce Jenner’s rumored decision to become a woman. The model sat down for an exclusive interview with Billy Bush and Kit Hoover during a segment on Access Hollywood on Thursday.
“I don’t want to speculate. I don’t think that’s the best thing to do. All I can say is congratulations and best of luck. I think it’s pretty major.”
Transgender people are finally getting their voices heard in America. Bruce Jenner’s interview with Diane Sawyer airs Friday night at 9 p.m. on ABC.
[Image: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational]