elle fanning is the cover star of the LGBTQi-D issue

However you identify, tell it to them straight.

by Sarah Raphael
22 September 2015, 1:40pm

In this issue we concentrate on the things we always have: originality, individuality, true style and good people. 2015 is the year the pearls came out of the oysters and the world gave them a standing ovation. Caitlyn Jenner's transition and newfound street cred is the prime example of a changed society, but this generation is filled with people fighting for LGBTQI rights and gender equality. 

Our cover star Elle Fanning talks about her new role as a transgender boy in About Ray, a part she researched passionately, connecting with trans teenagers all over the world via Skype. At 17-years-old, Elle is a child of the revolution: "At school I have transgender friends and we have an LGBT club, and a gay-straight alliance. My school is very accepting, but I know there are a lot of places that aren't." 

One of the defining voices of the movement, in our world, is Andreja Pejić, who tells fellow trans trailblazer Paris Lees what it feels like to feel free. Gender and sexuality can be hard to talk about, but you'd be surprised how willing people are to take part, with heart, and when we asked actor, director and teacher James Franco to contribute to the issue, we didn't expect a 3,000 word-conversation between male him and female him, including a three stanza poem entitled Hello Woman. Yet here it is. 

We present designer Grace Wales Bonner's refreshing vision of black masculinity and look into the disturbing level of homophobia in UK football, speaking to the only openly gay player Robbie Rogers. Gosha Rubchinskiy photographs Russia's growing boys, and actors Adèle Exarchopoulos and Kiersey Clemons tell their on and off screen stories about sex, gender and freedom-fighting. 

One of my favorite quotes in the issue is from Julie Adenuga, the new face of Beats 1 and sister to JME and Skepta, who says: "I don't see gender a lot. I'm more into the energy and passion of the person. That for me is the deciding factor of where an interaction will go." How often do you see gender? Won't we all look and be much more interesting if the gender wall comes down? As we move toward a new world order, more and more people are saying "no" to the bad manners of binary thinking, and it's the most positive affirmation.

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Elle Fanning
james franco
new issue
Collier Schorr
Gosha Rubchinskiy
cover star
Adele Exarchopoulos
Grace Wales Bonner
Andreja Pejic
robbie rogers
fall 2015
about ray
the fall issue
kiersey clemons
the lgbtqi-d issue