Model Teddy Quinlivan is going public with her struggle with identity.
The fearless 23-year-old, who has walked in several New York Fashion Week shows this week, including Marc Jacobs and Coach, came out as transgender in an exclusive CNN story debuting on Wednesday.
Today I walked for Marc Jacobs, but I also walked for Venus Extravaganza, Mesha Caldwell, Jo Jo Striker, Jaquarrius Holland, and countless other trans women who's lives were cut short due to senseless violence and lack of understanding. I love all my Transgender brothers and sisters and I will do whatever it takes to make a difference. Know that you are not alone, know that I'm here fighting for our community; fighting for our liberation.
“It’s political, but I’m also doing it for myself. I was ready to come out, but I think the times we live in elevated the sense of importance and urgency,” she told CNN. “When you come out as transgender to the world, on a platform, there may be some backlash. People might be violent against me because of something I never chose. That makes me nervous, but I’m really excited to share my story with the world.
“My optimism outweighs the fear.”
In coming out publicly, she hopes to help, inspire, and educate others much like Laverne Cox and Janet Mock have done previously. “Hopefully my story reaches people in the same way that the stories of Laverne Cox and Janet Mock have (already) reached trans people. There are not a lot of openly trans people in media, and I think it’s really important to show people that not only am I trans, I’m (also) very successful and good at what I do.”
Teddy also opened up about her journey in an Instagram video posted to her feed, titled “World Meet Teddy”. “I feel a deep sense of responsibility to not only myself but to my community,” she said. “I wanted to be the hero that I never had growing up.”