A little girl dressed in pink with matching colored hair stares pensively into the camera. The words “The best thing about being a girl is, now I don’t have to pretend to be a boy” appear below her.
When National Geographic unveiled its January cover on Friday, few could imagine the reaction it would generate. The iconic magazine featuring nine-year-old transgender girl Avery Jackson has created a raft of reaction on social media.
Some have applauded the magazine while others have accused it of supporting child abuse.
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) December 16, 2016
Many of the reactions were positive with some calling the magazine brave and lauding the move as historic.
Others couldn’t even see what the big deal was.
Avery Jackson, an eight-year-old transgender girl from Missouri is on the cover of National Geographic. Historic. pic.twitter.com/WQnmlUQ7Sw
— Yashar (@yashar) December 14, 2016
I'm trying to imagine the shit state my life would have to be in to get mad that a transgender kid was on National Geographic's cover.
— John Iadarola (@johniadarola) December 19, 2016
@HarryCallahan_ Ignorance is not a virtue. Don't criticize what you can't understand. Kudos to NG!
— Mark Reibman (@photo909) December 18, 2016
However some people were not so supportive and criticized the magazine for featuring Avery on the cover.
@NatGeo Doesn't take long to explore chromosomes it's pretty straightforward the rest is a mental disorder in need of help
— sooneralum78 (@sooneralum78) December 16, 2016
— Dirty Harry (@HarryCallahan_) December 15, 2016
In an editor’s note, magazine chief Susan Goldberg said thousands of people have weighed in “with opinions, from expressions of pride and gratitude to utter fury” since the cover was uploaded across its social media platforms.
The editor-in-chief also revealed some have even threatened to cancel their subscriptions over the move.
“Avery was able to capture the complexity of the conversation around gender,” Goldberg wrote. “We thought that, in a glance, she summed up the concept of ‘Gender Revolution’.”
Goldberg wrote that Avery, from Kansas City, was just one of the many stories which focused on gender and how far society has come on this issue as well as those of genital mutilation, child marriage, sexual assault.
While National Geographic has featured celebrities and scientists in the past it is the first time it has featured a transgender person on the cover, The Washington Postreported.
It wouldn’t be the first time, however that a transgender person has graced the cover of a magazine.
Just last year Caitlyn Jenner made her public debut on the cover of Vanity Fair.
This article was originally published on news.com.au