I hate that this is such an irregular feature, but I don’t want to write about women unless they or their stories make me feel something, and Laverne Cox is an incredibly smart, inspirational actress and activist. Sophia on Orange is the New Black would have been so different if she wasn’t played by a real life trans woman.
If you missed it, Laverne was on the most recent cover of Time after failing to make the list of the magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in April. The good people of Twitter used #whereislevernecox to draw attention to the fact that she was missing from the list.
I was so happy to see all the initial positive reaction to this cover story, and then crazy conservative rag National Review published one of the dumbest op/ed pieces ever, “Laverne Cox is not a Woman” (like fuck she’s not, asshole). The Advocate and The Frisky have some worthwhile writeups on the outrage that followed. However, as Ala Romano put so well here, there is not an organized trans movement. Yet.
Laverne continues to impress me by forcing the national discussion about gender identity. Here are a few of my favorite videos, but there are so many more:
Hampshire College commencement; May, 2014
On Melissa Harris-Perry (former SDOTW herself)
GLAAD’s I AM campaign
I would guess it’s pretty exhausting to be the voice and face of a group of people, so I hope she inspires more members of the trans community to speak out as well.
Orange is the New Black’s second season appears on Netflix this Friday. It is a show well worth your time.