Transgender actress Laverne Cox graces Time cover
Not many people receive a birthday gift like Laverne Cox did on Thursday.
"What a wonderful bday present!" Cox wrote on Facebook. "I realise this is way bigger than me and about a tipping point in our nation's history where it is no longer acceptable for trans lives to be stigmatised, ridiculed, criminalised and disregarded.
This is for my trans siblings out there and for anyone who has ever been told that who you know yourself to be at your core is not legitimate. You are who you know yourselves to be."
Time's cover story, written by Katy Steinmetz, examines how a growing awareness of trans people is shaping the way we define gender.
Time's story also explores the issues activists are fighting for and highlights other trans Americans such as an engineer at Google and "the first transgender homecoming queen in the nation", Cassidy Lynn Campbell, 16.
"As the trans movement has gained momentum, opponents have been drawn in to fight, many of them social conservatives who cut their teeth and fattened their mailing lists opposing same-sex marriage," Time's Steinmetz wrote in her cover story.
"But 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."
Cox talks the challenges of transitioning and how she learnt to 'own it'...
Transgender teen Cassidy Lynn Campbell's homecoming victory ...