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Fact Check: Time Magazine Supposedly Ran a 'Transgender Tipping Point' Cover Story in 2014. We Checked To See If It Was Real

screen capture/Time Magazine
screen capture/Time Magazine

Claim:

On June 9, 2014, actor Laverne Cox appeared on the cover of Time magazine in an issue titled "The Transgender Tipping Point."

Rating:

Rating: True
Rating: True

On March 28, 2024, X (formerly Twitter) user @vanillaopinions posted an image [archived] picturing a 2014 cover of Time Magazine. On this cover, Actor and trans woman Laverne Cox posed, and next to her, the headline read "The Transgender Tipping point: America's Next Civil Rights Frontier."

This post was viewed 648,300 times and liked 28,300 times.

The cover was real, and Time Magazine had shared it on its official Twitter account on May 29, 2014 [archived]:

In the article, published one year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to make same-sex marriage legal, Katy Steinmetz argued that the battle for trans rights would mark the next stage of social progress. Steinmetz described the then-current state of affairs for trans people:

(...) perhaps the biggest obstacle is that trans people live in a world largely built on a fixed and binary definition of gender. In many places, they are unwelcome in the men's bathroom and the women's. The effect is a constant reminder that they don't belong.

This article was prescient in many ways. Since 2014, trans issues have been the focal point of numerous conservative campaigns pushing for hardening laws against trans expression, especially for children. As of this writing in March 2024, the policy tally (a points-based evaluation of state and local laws and policies that protect or harm LGBTQ people) for gender identity across U.S. states is low to negative, according to the Movement Advancement Project:


LGBTQ Equality by state — Gender Identity. (Movement Advancement Project)

"This tally includes laws that explicitly address or impact gender identity and/or expression," the website explains. "'Gender identity' is a person's deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or another gender(s)."

Sources:

Movement Advancement Project | Snapshot: LGBTQ Equality by State. https://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps. Accessed 29 Mar. 2024.

'The Transgender Tipping Point'. TIME, 29 May 2014, https://time.com/135480/transgender-tipping-point/.