Caitlyn Jenner Thanks Laverne Cox And Other Transgender Pioneers In New Behind-The-Scenes Clip

Caitlyn Jenner strives to make a difference, and Laverne Cox supports it.  

Following the reveal of Caitlyn Jenner on Vanity Fair’s July cover yesterday (Jun. 1), the publication has also unleashed another behind the scenes video of Caitlyn’s photo shoot with photographer Annie Leibovitz. In the footage,  Jenner candidly shed some insight on her transition process, while also shouting out other trans women who have paved the way for her.

SEE ALSO: Opinion: The Importance Of What Caitlyn Jenner Is Showing My Children

“You look at some of the people trying to get the message out, Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Geena Rocero people like that, Carmen Carrera. Back in the 80’s I was alone,” she said. “And I’m kind of following in their footsteps. They made it easier for me so I hope with my honesty I can make it easier for somebody else down the line."

However, it seems like Caitlyn also inspires her own inspirations. In an essay posted to her blog Laverne Cox professed her admiration for Jenner and discussed diversity in beauty standards in the transgender community. Here is a part of what the Orange Is The New Black star had to say:

SEE ALSO: Come Through: 25 Meme Reactions To Caitlyn Jenner’s Big Debut

Many have commented on how gorgeous Caitlyn looks in her photos, how she is “slaying for the Gods.” I must echo these comments in the vernacular, “Yasss Gawd! Werk Caitlyn! Get it!” But this has made me reflect critically on my own desires to ‘work a photo shoot’, to serve up various forms of glamour, power, sexiness, body affirming, racially empowering images of the various sides of my black, trans womanhood. I love working a photo shoot and creating inspiring images for my fans, for the world and above all for myself. But I also hope that it is my talent, my intelligence, my heart and spirit that most captivate, inspire, move and encourage folks to think more critically about the world around them. Yes, Caitlyn looks amazing and is beautiful but what I think is most beautiful about her is her heart and soul, the ways she has allowed the world into her vulnerabilities. The love and devotion she has for her family and that they have for her. Her courage to move past denial into her truth so publicly. These things are beyond beautiful to me. A year ago when my Time magazine cover came out I saw posts from many trans folks saying that I am “drop dead gorgeous” and that that doesn’t represent most trans people. (It was news to be that I am drop dead gorgeous but I’ll certainly take it). But what I think they meant is that in certain lighting, at certain angles I am able to embody certain cisnormative beauty standards. Now, there are many trans folks because of genetics and/or lack of material access who will never be able to embody these standards. More importantly many trans folks don’t want to embody them and we shouldn’t have to to be seen as ourselves and respected as ourselves . It is important to note that these standards are also infomed by race, class and ability among other intersections. I have always been aware that I can never represent all trans people. No one or two or three trans people can. This is why we need diverse media representstions of trans folks to multiply trans narratives in the media and depict our beautiful diversities.

It’s been quite a week for Caitlyn. She made her big debut on VF’s cover yesterday, and is set to receive the Arthur Ashe award for courage at the 2015 ESPYs. Read Laverne's full essay on here and watch the full behind-the-scenes clip above.

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Exclusive: Omari Hardwick Believes Jay-Z's NFL Deal Can Take Kaepernick's Mission To New Heights

The conversation around Jay-Z's NFL deal has been heard from newsrooms to barbershops. While there are many perspectives to take into consideration, Omari Hardwick believes we should consider what Mr. Shawn Carter's move can do to bring Colin Kaepernick's mission to the next level.

Speaking Swaggy Sie's SiriusXM show The Heat Wave on SiriusXM's The Heat this week, the Power star opened up about the parallels of activism and where Jay stands with his decision to partner with the organization.

"Jay-Z's point which I really understand is that of 'How how long do we simply pledge in a hazing way of taking a knee and there not being necessary productivity from it or not a conclusion from it (when is there ever conclusion from it) or steps to be closer to a conclusion?'" Hardwick said. The actor, who is a friend of the rap icon, says Jay's deal can help broker new opportunities for people of color.

As previously reported, Jay's deal with the NFL provides him with the title of "live music entertainment strategist" which includes a partnership with Roc Nation and the businessman consulting on entertainment, specifically the Super Bowl halftime show, and contributing to the league’s activism campaign, Inspire Change. Other social-justice efforts were left unspecified but as mixed reviews rolled in, it was later rumored that Jay was also looking to take ownership of an NFL team.

Supporters of Kaepernick have slammed Jay for his decision but Hardwick believes there's more to be discovered.

"With Jay-Z, with all of his power, all of that with it (50 would be the same way) to not act on it and go, 'Listen Goddell, listen, Commissioner and team, being from the hood and now going to the heights of life that I made it to, these are some steps I think could activate that which Kaepernick and others like him want to activate as opposed to simply going, 'I'm protesting.'"

"My father says this, 'When the gun sounded, we of brown color knew what direction to run. If the gun sounds now, we'd be running into each other,'" he added.

"If [Jay's] view is of that, it is arrogant to assume people without that view would understand what Jay-Z is always doing. Jay-Z's view and his description of being past that don't necessarily mean that it's understandable by the people who are not at the same of view of that, but he's not forgetting them. His objective is to get the lowest common denominator of those who are brown to a better place. Half the league if not more than half the league is brown."

When it comes to Kaepernick, the actor says it's time for the athlete to play football again. "I feel like Kaepernick has to be given some sunshine in terms of playing ball," he said. "He's still young. You're telling me someone who is second or third-string player out there that shouldn't be second or third-string? Definitely not over Kaepernick."

Watch the interview below.

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Lil Uzi Vert Reveals That His Grandmother Suffered A Debilitating Stroke

From the outside looking in, it may appear that Lil Uzi Vert is living the good life, but the 25-year-old Philly native admitted that he has been masking his pain. In a string of tweets posted Thursday (Aug. 22), Uzi revealed that his beloved grandma was on her way home after spending “months” in the hospital following a stroke and more health struggles.

“I’m scared excited happy and sad but mostly thankful,” he tweeted. “Today my grandma is coming home she was in the hospital and rehab for months she cannot walk. She cannot talk all the way but I feel her [getting] better by the second.

“My grandma been in the hospital for MONTHS man, she had a tumor over her eye the [doctors] removed half of it when she finally woke she had a stroke on her entire left side and cannot move it,” Uzi continued before revealing that his grandmother raised him. In another tweet, Uzi confessed to “flexing so hard and buying the world because deep down I’m hurt.”

He went on to explain keeping the family matter quiet from his millions of fans. “I know you beautiful ladies and successful gentlemen [probably] saying ‘he should of been told us' but I never been threw this I needed privacy I needed Family comfort because I just didn’t understand.”

Read his emotional tweets below.

I love you grandma you got this ♥️

— Uzi London 🌎☄️💕® (@LILUZIVERT) August 22, 2019

I’m scared excited happy and sad but mostly thankful. So Today my Grandma is coming home she was in the hospital and rehab for months she cannot walk. She cannot talk all the way but I feel her gettin better by the second ♥️

— Uzi London 🌎☄️💕® (@LILUZIVERT) August 22, 2019

My grandma been in the hospital for MONTHS man she had a tumor over her eye the Doctors removed half of it when she finally woke she had a stroke on her entire left side and cannot move it . IF YOU DONT KNOW THATS WHO RAISE ME

I love my grandma more than Clothes

— Uzi London 🌎☄️💕® (@LILUZIVERT) August 22, 2019

I Know you beautiful ladies and successful gentlemen prolly saying

He Should Of Been Told Us but I never been threw this I needed privacy I needed Family comfort because I just didn’t understand.

— Uzi London 🌎☄️💕® (@LILUZIVERT) August 22, 2019

I Been Flexing So Hard And Buying The World 🌍 Because Deep Down I’m Hurt ......

— Uzi London 🌎☄️💕® (@LILUZIVERT) August 22, 2019

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Dave Chappelle To Reportedly Host Ohio Block Party Honoring Victims Of Mass Shooting

Dave Chappelle will reportedly be helping to raise the spirits of residents in Dayton, Ohio following a mass shooting earlier this month. Chappelle is set to host a free block party in the city this weekend, Page Six reports.

The “Gem City Shine” benefit concert will be held in the city’s Oregon District, and is aimed at is honoring “the lives lost and to reclaim the community’s favorite places to shop, dine and enjoy time with family and friends,” according to a Facebook events page. Tickets are free but are only available to residents of Dayton and surrounding areas. The 45-year-old comedian has lived in Ohio for several years with his wife, Elaine, and their three children.

On Aug. 4, a gunman opened fire outside of a bar in the Oregon District, killing 10 people and injuring 17 others. Additional victims were hit by police bullets. In total, more than two dozen people were left injured. The gunman was killed by authorities.

“Gem City Shine” goes down Sunday (Aug. 25) from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m.

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