June 10, 2015 / 3:01 PM / 4 years ago

Laverne Cox to debut as Madame Tussauds' first transgender wax figure

Actress and transgender activist Laverne Cox walks in a Donna Karan creation during a presentation of the Go Red for Women Red Dress collection during New York Fashion Week February 13, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - American actress Laverne Cox will become the first ever transgender figure in the history of Madame Tussauds when her wax figure is unveiled during Pride Weekend in San Francisco later this month.

The actress marked a milestone in the portrayal of transgender characters in the television series “Orange is the New Black”, and was the first transgender actress to land an Emmy nomination for acting.

“I am so deeply honored to have been asked to be part of the Madame Tussauds legacy,” Cox said in a statement published on Madame Tussauds’ website.

“When I think about being who I am, a black trans woman from a working class background raised in Mobile, Alabama, this honor feels even more improbable and extraordinary.”

The museum said that it was proud to celebrate Cox’s achievements and the impact she has made through raising awareness and her stance on equality and inclusion within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

U.S. President Barack Obama has taken a firm stand over the past year on gay and also transgender rights, an area of debate that is becoming hotly contested.

Last year, in a presidential first, Obama used the word “transgender” in the annual State of the Union address, and he has also endorsed same-sex marriage.

Cox’s figure will be placed in the San Francisco branch of Madame Tussauds.

Reporting by Magdalena Mis, Editing by Alex Whiting; Please credit Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, corruption and climate change. Visit www.trust.org

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