'Nat Geo' Explores Gender Options, Puts 9-Year-Old Transgender Girl On Cover

For the first time in its 128-year history, National Geographicis featuring a transgender person on the cover of its magazine.

The subscriber cover of the January 2017 issue will feature 9-year-old transgender girl Avery Jackson, who lives in the Midwest. The newsstand cover highlights individuals representing "a broad spectrum of gender identities and expressions," a spokesperson told Publishers Daily.

The “Gender Revolution” issue, which hits newsstands on December 27, examines the “cultural, social, biological and personal” aspects of gender identity, per the magazine. Stories examine American standards of beauty, the modern path to becoming a man and the science behind gender identity.

The powerful caption on Jackson’s cover reads: “The best thing about being a girl is, now I don’t have to pretend to be a boy."

Avery's father told TheNew York Times that raising a transgender child is the same as raising any child. A parent's role does not change, he said. In a 2014 speech that went viral, her mother, who described herself as a “conservative, Southern Baptist, Republican from Alabama,” said: “My God taught us to love one another. My daughter is a girl in her heart. She knows it. God knows it. And that’s good enough for me.”

Other stories in the magazine, “I am Nine Years Old,” asks kids in 80 homes on four continents how gender affects their lives. National Geographic also plans to air a two-hour documentary called “Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric” on February 6.

Other features include “Rethinking Gender,” which examines how science can help “navigate the shifting landscape of gender identity,” and “American Girl,” which contrasts the growing accepting of differences among American girls with the potential harm social media can wreak on young women.

Conversely, “Making A Man” looks at the traditional ceremonies once considered a rite of passage for a boy to become a man and how they have changed as societies modernize, leaving boys to “find their own ways to become a man.”

"Youths are articulate and smart and key observers, and they don't have a social veil. They'll tell you what they think, and that is a true reflection of how societies really are," Susan Goldberg, editorial director of National Geographic Partners and editor in chief of National Geographic magazine, told NBC Out.

3 comments about "'Nat Geo' Explores Gender Options, Puts 9-Year-Old Transgender Girl On Cover".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Michael Kaplan from Blue Sky Creative, December 19, 2016 at 11:23 a.m.

    As interesting as the issue is, I found the comments on the National Geographic website to be the real eye-opener. After The Drudge Report featured a report on the issue, hundreds of incredibly rude, offensive and thoughtless comments were posted, showing just har far we have to go when it comes to recognizing that not everyone fits neatly into society's gender roles. Frankly, I'm surprised that a Murdoch-owned publication would take the risk.

  2. Sara Guaglione from MediaPost replied, December 19, 2016 at 11:31 a.m.

    That's a real shame. Comments sections can bring out the worst in people.
    Perhaps the attention the covers will bring to NatGeo magazine is worth the risk.

  3. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , December 21, 2016 at 12:40 p.m.

    "hundreds of incredibly rude, offensive and thoughtless comments were posted, showing just har far we have to go when it comes to recognizing that not everyone fits neatly into society's gender roles."


    I guess my comments will fall into the above category.  The problem here is we have a world that has abandoned ABSOLUTES.  Everything has morphed into this P/C , anything-goes, no-right, no-wrong , over sensitive , marshmellow society, that quite frankly will take us down as a society.   This ABSOLUTE NONSENSE that you can "pick your gender" is insanity.  Call it a cry for attention or what ever you want, but these parents of this poor kid exploited on the cover of NG is no less than child abuse.  I'm sorry, Michael, Sara, but "fitting into gender roles" was given at birth.  The proof is real simple;  If you wear your genitals on the outside, you're a male, wear them on the inside, a female.  This crap about "who I identify" is rooted in the pits of hell, and for some reason, I will be the "demon" because I don't accepot  or tolerate this behavior, and my absolutes will generate intolerance from a society that says "anything goes'  is the new normal.

Next story loading loading..