Even if you don't watch Orange Is The New Black, you know Laverne Cox is making waves for the transgender community. Her latest contribution: She recently shared her "It Got Better" story with the world. In the clip below, Cox talks about growing up with a single mother in Alabama, where she was bullied as a child. Because she lived in such a conservative region, everyone discouraged her natural tendency toward "the feminine," as she describes it. One teacher told Cox's mother, "Your son is going to end up in New Orleans wearing a dress if we don't get him to therapy right away." As a result, "I thought that every single thing about me was awful and shameful," Cox says.
After a failed suicide attempt, she adopted a new perspective, throwing herself into her studies. She went on to Indiana University, where she came out. Cox didn't accept her womanhood, though, until she moved to New York and finally met other transgendered women. It was only then that she was able to overcome her own misconceptions.
Though we're used to seeing her play the slightly tough Sophia on the hit Netflix show, this version of Cox is about as vulnerable — and inspiring — as it gets. (Oh No They Didn't)