For the first time in the magazine’s history, National Geographic has featured a transgender girl on the cover of its January 2017 issue.
Nine-year-old Avery Jackson appears on the cover, which was unveiled to the public via social media on Friday.
“The best thing about being a girl is, now I don’t have to pretend to be a boy,” a quote on the cover reads.
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) December 16, 2016
The issue is dedicated to discussions around gender, something the magazine’s editor-in-chief admits there is a “profound discussion” about.
“Our January issue focuses mostly on young people and how gender roles play out around the world,” Susan Goldberg wrote in a post on the magazine’s website.
“Today, we’re not only talking about gender roles for boys and girls – we’re talking about our evolving understanding of people on the gender spectrum.”
The cover has sparked a heated debate online, with many praising the magazine for the historic move.
Avery Jackson, an eight-year-old transgender girl from Missouri is on the cover of National Geographic. Historic. pic.twitter.com/WQnmlUQ7Sw
— Yashar (@yashar) December 14, 2016