Five Brilliant Transgender Quotes From Powerful Truth Seekers

June 10th 2015

Laura Donovan

It's been quite an eventful week for the trans community. Caitlyn Jenner made her worldwide debut on Vanity Fair, beat President Barack Obama's Twitter record of acquiring 1 million followers in five hours, and even inspired other trans individuals to partake in their own celebratory social media hashtag. As noted by many, Jenner is in a privileged position with tons of money and star power, but her cover shoot created a powerful moment for the trans community, which isn't always visible in our society. ATTN: compiled some of the best transgender and equality quotes out there to highlight what it really means to be trans.

1. Janet Mock

Janet Mock

"We have different experiences, but trans women have experiences that do parallel with the whole fabric of what womanhood is. Embracing trans women, listening to their stories, enriches what womanhood is. It expands it and makes it even better.” 

A trans woman herself, Mock also praised Jenner's Vanity Fair glamour shot on Twitter:

2. LaVerne Cox

LaVerne Cox

After Jenner's picture went viral earlier this week, the "Orange is the New Black" star wrote a blog post congratulating Jenner's courage. Cox also drew parallels between the response to her 2014 Time magazine cover shot and Jenner's Vanity Fair cover.

"A year ago when my Time magazine cover came out I saw posts from many trans folks saying that I am 'drop dead gorgeous' and that that doesn’t represent most trans people (It was news to be that I am drop dead gorgeous but I’ll certainly take it). But what I think they meant is that in certain lighting, at certain angles I am able to embody certain cisnormative beauty standards...It is important to note that these standards are also [informed] by race, class and ability among other intersections. This is why we need diverse media [representations] of trans folks to multiply trans narratives in the media and depict our beautiful diversities." -LaVerne Cox

3. Geena Rocero

Geena Rocero

"We are all assigned a gender at birth. Sometimes that assignment doesn't match our inner truth, and there needs to be a new place -- a place for self-identification. I was not born a boy, I was assigned boy at birth. Understanding the difference between the two is crucial to our culture and society moving forward in in the way we treat -- and talk about -- transgender individuals ... In today's globally connected and ever-diversifying world, culture is now more fluid and more flexible than ever -- and so too should be our understanding and perception of gender.​" -Geena Rocero, model

4. Thomas McBee

Thomas McBee Twitter

"Every trans person has a breaking point, and mine came two years after top surgery, when I expected to see myself and found a woman standing before me, instead. As much as I didn’t connect with the cultural expectations of Being a Man, I knew that I’d grown up and become one. I was going to have to figure out how to bridge the gap. I’d done so many sit-ups and spent so much time in quiet reflection, tailoring shirts to fit my bird chest that I knew, in that last-puzzle-piece way of an epiphany, that loving myself meant allowing my body to change. I had a primal sense of home, and I knew exactly what it looked like. My body needed me." -Thomas McBee, writer

5. Margaret Cho

Margaret Cho

“If you are a woman, if you're a person of color, if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, if you are a person of size, if you are a person of intelligence, if you are a person of integrity, then you are considered a minority in this world. And it's going to be really hard to find messages of self-love and support anywhere. Especially women's and gay men's culture ... When you don't have self-esteem you will hesitate before you do anything in your life. You will hesitate to go for the job you really wanna go for, you will hesitate to ask for a raise, you will hesitate to call yourself an American, you will hesitate to report a rape, you will hesitate to defend yourself when you are discriminated against because of your race, your sexuality, your size, your gender. You will hesitate to vote, you will hesitate to dream. For us to have self-esteem is truly an act of revolution and our revolution is long overdue.” -Margaret Cho, comedian

For more on issues facing transgender Americans, check out our video on the battle for gender neutral bathrooms: