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
“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,”
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.