Men’s website names Laverne Cox in its ‘Top 99 Most Outstanding Women’

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

Trans actress Laverne Cox is number 16 on lifestyle website AskMen’s list of Outstanding Women.

The list – topped this year by Emma Watson – was known as the “Top 99 Most Desirable Women” for the last 15 years. The name change is intended to shift the focus onto women’s achievements rather than appearance and desirability.

AskMen publisher James Bassil said: “We wanted to steer away from ‘hot’ lists and highlight women who have demonstrated a sheer influence in their industry. We were looking for women who are doing something new this year, something that demonstrates their versatility and raw talent.”

The feature says of Ms Cox: “Laverne’s role as transgender Orange Is the New Black inmate Sophia Burset has gone a long way toward reshaping the conversation about trans rights. Getting a transgender woman to play a transgender character was a huge step in the right direction, and the subsequent Time magazine cover on which she posed only helped amplify that.

“The struggle for LGBTQ equality may be far from over, but Cox’s success is inspiring, and a sign of more changes to come.”

The list was compiled by a panel of judges from a variety of lifestyle publications and based on votes from a million AskMen readers. It also includes Angelina Jolie at number 47, Lady Gaga at 58 and model Cara Delevigne at 66.

Ms Cox tweeted her thanks and declared it “awesome”.

Laverne Cox was recently cast as in a legal drama as a successful defence lawyer. 

She failed to make last year’s Time “100 Most Influential People” list despite coming fifth in the reader’s vote.