Runway model Teddy Quinlivan has come out as transgender in an interview with CNN.

The 23-year-old Quinlivan told CNN that she transitioned at age 16.

She initially kept her gender identity from modeling agencies and brands, saying that she was able to pass as cis-gender. She's coming out, she said, to speak out against the policies of the Trump administration.

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

“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.”

She added that she believes the fashion industry plays a crucial role in giving transgender people a platform.

“I think the fashion industry plays a very crucial role in that. The fashion industry dictates what’s in fashion, what’s cool, what’s acceptable. It’s not just about who’s walking fashion shows … it’s about who’s on every newsstand in the country. The transgender community needs more visibility. And with more visibility will come more acceptance,” Quinlivan said.

Designer Marc Jacobs told CNN in an email that he supports Quinlivan's decision to come out.

“I respect, admire and support Teddy’s decision to come out as transgender. 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,” Jacobs wrote.