Marc Jacobs Model Teddy Quinlivan Reveals Transgender Identity Following NYFW

The 23-year-old American model had publicly presented herself as cisgender until this point, but revealed that she transitioned at the age of 16.

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Whether it's Hari Nef modelling on the cover of ELLE magazine last year, Orange Is The New Black actress Laverne Cox starring in Ivy Park's fall campaign, or Andreja Pejic becoming the first trans woman to land a make-up contract, transgender models are proving there's no definitive way to be a model, man or woman in today's society.

And while the trio have become well-respected and renowned stars in the industry, it doesn't mean it's been without its challenges, with Pejic recently admitting people in fashion told her not to transition for fear it would be to the detriment of her career.

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'They were like, "You don't want to associate yourself with the trans thing too much because it's not chic or it's low-end or whatever." I think a lot of people in this industry do whatever they can to have a career and they didn't understand that I would risk everything — it was deeper than a career [to me],' she told Refinery 29.

However, the prejudice that continues to face the trans community in fashion and beauty hasn't stopped model Teddy Quinlivan speaking her truth, as she's just told the world she's a transgender woman.

In a CNN exclusive, the Oscar de la Renta and Marc Jacobs model - who just walked the Coach, Self Portrait and Jeremy Scott show at NYFW - said she felt compelled to come out as a trans model as a result of the current political climate.

'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 admitted.

Despite feeling 'little bit nervous' for coming out as a trans woman, the star said she's finally coming to terms with being called a transgender model.

'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 said.

'I don't think it's a problem because I don't think there's anything wrong with being trans.

I just felt a great sense of urgency

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'I'm a woman first and foremost ... I'm a model but I'm also transgender, and I think in a time when I can count most transgender celebrities on my hands, (this) is crucial,' she continued.

Looking to role models such as Pejic and Nef, the model said it's been refreshing to see how coming out as a transgender model doesn't signal the end of your career.

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A post shared by Theodora Quinlivan (@teddy_quinlivan) on

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'Since I transitioned when I was 16, I've been living as a cis female... I was very lucky, because I won the genetic lottery. I looked a certain way and my voice hadn't dropped. That privilege gave me a lot of confidence to walk down the street, date and (work) in the fashion industry, where people I would presume I was a 'normal' girl,' Quinlivan said.

I'm a woman first and foremost ... I'm a model but I'm also transgender

She revealed she also hopes her honesty will help encourage acceptance, tolerance and inclusivity across the industry.

'I think the fashion industry plays a very crucial role in that,' she said.

'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.'

As a result, several high profile stars have come out in support of her decision to come out as a trans woman, with designer Marc Jacobs telling CNN:

'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.'

Meanwhile, GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement that Teddy is 'sending a phenomenal message to transgender youth by using her personal story to show that transgender women can and should aspire to be whatever they want to be'.

We couldn't agree more.

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