Laverne Cox, who made history Thursday as the first transgender actress to be nominated for an Emmy Award, told The Advocate that she attempted to run away from her gender identity.

(Related: Laverne Cox: First transgender actress nominated for primetime Emmy.)

Cox's journey is the subject of Advocate's August/September cover.

Attending high school in Alabama, Cox said she “definitely did not identify as male, but I didn't identify as a woman yet either, not until later.”

“I started wearing culottes and bell-bottoms and makeup. I was very androgynous in high school, and continued in college.”

While studying at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, Cox went “full femme” for the first time when she entered a beauty pageant at the Pyramid Club in the East Village.

She said “I'm transgender” out loud for the first time when she was about to get her first hormone shot.

“I never really said that before, and owning that was just a relief,” she said. “I feel like it was something I'd been running away from my whole life. Something I'd been fighting and trying not to be and trying to negotiate, instead of just trying to be who I am. It was just a relief.”