New York, NY - Internationally acclaimed fashion model Teddy Quinlivan today shares with the world her authentic self, disclosing that she is transgender. Quinlivan makes this announcement for her own self-empowerment and as a call to action about the importance of transgender equality.
"I want to help break the stigma of what it means to be transgender. We need more and more trans voices to speak out and share our humanity so that the world stops seeing us as 'other'," Quinlivan said. "We deserve to be treated with dignity and respect both under the law and in our daily lives. I will promote love, understanding, and acceptance of trans people."
The 23-year old Quinlivan was discovered in the fall of 2015 by designer Nicolas Ghesquière and worked exclusively with the designer for Louis Vuitton's Spring 2016 collection. Since then, she has successfully walked over 150 fashion shows for brands including Prada, Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Dior, and countless others. Quinlivan has also been featured in editorials for multiple international Vogues, InStyle magazine, Interview, and Glamour magazine. Represented by Women Management in New York City, Quinlivan has continued to partner with the upper echelon of brands, photographers, and stylists in the business. She says she is making the decision to reveal her true self because she feels a sense of urgency and personal responsibility to utilize her image to speak out for transgender justice at a critical moment in our global history.
"Transgender people, particularly transgender women of color, are still being murdered at an astronomical rate, simply for being ourselves. Our community also faces severe discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations," Quinlivan said. "Additionally, our rights are under constant threat from the highest levels of our government and through cruel proposed legislation across the country that is designed to put us in harm's way. Enough is enough. We deserve justice and I will use my voice to help our diverse, vibrant and resilient trans communities overcome these obstacles and thrive."
"We are extremely proud of Teddy for her courage in making this most personal decision to live openly," said Michael Bruno of Women Management. "She has already established herself as a tenacious and revered model across our industry. We look forward to this revelation allowing Teddy a renewed, positive sense of self, while furthering the cause of transgender equality."
"Over my past three decades as a Makeup Artist, I have been fortunate enough to work with some of the most renowned models of all time - extraordinary women of supernatural beauty; ladies whose names have entered the annals of history. In Fall 2015, I met a young woman named Teddy Quinlivan who instantly transfixed me with her iconoclastic glamour and irrepressible spirit. When she told me her plans to share her story and become an advocate for the Trans Community, I knew that she would join that pantheon of women who the world looks to not only for their beauty, but for what they represent - fierceness, fortitude and fearlessness," said Pat McGrath.
"Teddy and I met in 2014. As an exclusive model for Louis Vuitton, we spent months together working on collections. When the time came for her to start her career, I was amazed and proud to see how she embraced the fashion marathon with such a fantastic success. Today it is important for her and I would like to express my full support and love," said Nicolas Ghesquière.
"I was first introduced to Teddy Quinlivan during castings for our Fall/Winter 2016 fashion show. Since then Teddy has worked with us all at Marc Jacobs on many occasions. As a model she has and continues to inspire me with her energy, enthusiasm and commitment. 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. I am so proud to know Teddy," said Marc Jacobs.
"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," said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. "The fashion industry has embraced Teddy for being a talented model and her continued success will further open the world's eyes to the beauty that transgender women have inside and out."