The January 2017 issue of National Geographic, focusing on “the gender revolution,” features a 9-year-old transgender girl, believed to be the first trans person on the 128-year-old publication’s cover.
“The best part of being a girl,” says Avery Jackson in the accompanying caption, “is, now I don’t have to pretend to be a boy.”
We first encountered Avery in June, when she worked with Topeka’s Planting Peace to turn a house across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound into a safe space for trans people.
Avery began her transition at age 4, and her parents have become her staunchest advocates.
“We were really excited about this issue, thinking it would come out right as Hillary was about to be inaugurated,” Avery’s mom, Debi Jackson, posted on the Facebook group Pantsuit Nation. “But positive trans stories are even more necessary now…”
On newsstands December 27, the issue will examine gender from different perspectives—addressing gender identity, sexuality, coming of age, and the threats faced by those who don’t confirm to traditional notions of gender. It comes in advance of the special two-hour documentary Gender Revolution, co-produced and hosted by Katie Couric, which premieres on Nat Geo on February 6 at 9/8c.
A new study by the National Center for Transgender Equality uncovered serious issued faced by young trans people in America: One in 12 were thrown out of the house after they disclosed their gender identity, and one in ten report they were subject to physical violence by a family member.
Below, Debi Jackson challenges the ignorance she has to confront as the parent of a transgender child.