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Laverne Cox is making waves in Hollywood as a respected Black transgender actress, first entering our homes via Orange Is The New Black.

And though she’s had some hangups about herself in the past, Laverne has made an attempt at moving forward and empowering others by exposing almost all of herself in the May issue of Allure magazine, along with other stars like Jordana Brewster and Sandrine Holt.

“I said no initially, thought about it, and said no again,” she tells the magazine. “But I’m a black transgender woman. I felt this could be really powerful for the communities that I represent.”

PEOPLE continues:

Cox, who was recently cast as a transgender attorney for a CBS pilot, also tells the magazine she hopes her self-love image encourages other trans and black women to embrace their bodies too.

“Going through life, you try to cover and hide, but it doesn’t really work,” she says.

“Black women are not often told that we’re beautiful unless we align with certain standards,” she continues. “Trans women certainly are not told we’re beautiful. Seeing a black transgender woman embracing and loving everything about herself might be inspiring to some other folks. There’s beauty in the things we think are imperfect. That sounds very cliché, but it’s true.”

Ultimately, she did the spread for her own happiness.

“I honestly just want to make myself happy most, and if other people like it, then that’s great,” she says. “If they don’t, then I’m still happy.”

Check out the photo above.

SOURCE: PEOPLE | PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram, Getty

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