NYFW’s muse Teddy Quinlivan comes out as transgender

Teddy Quinlivan, the 23-year-old runway muse is making headlines in her quest to become not a mere top model but a role model for the LGBTQ community. NYFW’s latest star spoke candidly to CNN Style of her gender-bending journey.

Quinlivan has walked in over 150 shows since entering the fashion world in 2015, when she worked with Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2016 collection. In just the last week, she walked for labels including Coach, Tory Burch, Oscar de la Renta, and Marc Jacobs at New York Fashion Week.

“I want to help break the stigma of what it means to be transgender” Quinlivan said in her coming out statement. “We need more and more trans voices to speak out and share our humanity so that the world stops seeing us as ’other’.”

“I’ve decided to reveal my trans identity because of the political climate in the world right now — particularly in the United States. We made an amazing progression under the Obama administration” she adds, “and since the new administration took office there’s been a kind of backlash.”

The 23-year-old spoke out against the injustices facing the trans community. “Transgender people, particularly transgender women of color, are still being murdered at an astronomical rate, simply for being ourselves. Enough is enough” she said. “We deserve justice and I will use my voice to help our diverse, vibrant and resilient trans communities overcome these obstacles and thrive.”

In one of her Instagram videos, the model reveals her path to the truth. “I would always kind of ask myself if not now, when, if not me, who?”

“I wanted to be the hero that I never had growing up for somebody else” she says.

“When the time came for her to start her career, I was amazed and proud to see how she embraced the fashion marathon with such a fantastic success” said Ghesquière, the first designer she worked with. “Today is important for her and I would like to express my full support and love”.

“Now more than ever, it is vital that we pledge our allegiance to the LGBT community and use our voices to encourage and inspire acceptance, equality, understanding, and love” Marc Jacobs said. “I am so proud to know Teddy”.

The 23-year-old revealed the news in the as well as on her Instagram page, where she posted a short film titled “My Name is Teddy I’m Transgender.”

Quinlivan “decided to reveal my trans identity because of the political climate in the world right now — particularly in the United States.”

“There’s been violence against transgender people — particularly transgender women of color — since before I even knew what transgender was. I just felt a great sense of urgency. I’m very fortunate to be in (a) position (that) I never really thought I would be. It’s really important to take advantage of a time like this…I was ready to come out, but I think the times we live in elevated the sense of importance and urgency.”

“If being transgender is something that gets attached to my name throughout my career, then it’s for a worthy cause. But I look forward to the day when it doesn’t matter” she adds.

“For the sake of tracking progress, we’ll be among the publications that use this signifier. However, we’re equally eager for the day when widespread change eliminates the need for any labelling” commented The Fashion Spot.

Read the personal equals political profile here.