Laverne Cox shares her story with the Northeastern University students. She introduces herself as a proud African-American transgender woman, an artist, an award-winning actress, and a daughter of a single mother.
“I believe it is important to name the various intersecting components of my multiple identities in public and with pride because I have not always been able to do so,” Cox said in her address, titled “Ain’t I A Woman.” It takes a lot of courage to carry yourself with pride and respect.
Cox is best known for her role as Sophia Burset on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. She has been nominated for the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, making her the first openly transgender person nominated for an Emmy in the acting category.
There is a state of emergency for the transgender community across the nation. Someone needs to listen to them; something needs to be done for them because they are humans just like us.
Cox said, “But as Dr. Cornel West reminds us, ‘Justice is what love looks like in public.’ Trans and gender nonconforming people could use some justice, some love today.”
Cox, an LGBT advocate, was named one of Out Magazine’s OUT100 and received the 2013 Courage Award from the Anti-Violence Project. This isn’t all, she is also the first openly transgender person to appear on the cover of Time.
One of the biggest obstacles the transgender people face is the perception among some that trans people will always be the gender they were assigned at birth.
Born in Mobile, Alabama, Cox was bullied on a daily basis from kindergarten to high school. The only light through all this was dancing. Dancing was her escape to a peaceful world.
She eventually made her way to New York City. Although she continued to deal with adversity and bullying there, Cox found solace in the city’s nightclubs, where her gender expression was seen as something to celebrate.
“It was a really wonderful thing because at that point my gender expression had been frowned upon,” Cox explained. “It was a really wonderful time for me.”
The world needs more acceptance and kindness for the trans people. We need to look at them as humans and treat them as one, with love and respect.