Laverne Cox is an icon in more ways than one, and the trailblazing actress is always here to shut down misconceptions about transgender people. In an interview with London's Channel 4 News on Friday, Cox explained why trans women are still "real" women — and why stating otherwise is so troublesome.
"Gender is really, really complicated, and everyone experiences their gender in a different way, and gender is different based on the culture," Cox told Channel 4 News reporter Fatima Manji. "When we say that transgender women aren't women, that is a way to discriminate against us. That is a way that folks use to deny us access and deny us healthcare and jobs, and it's a reason that people perpetrate violence against us."
"What I think is so powerful about Orange Is The New Black is that the prison system is a system that wants to dehumanize folks who are in prison," Cox told Manji. "And I think what, particularly women in prison, and particularly the characters in our show demonstrate is that even though they exist in a system that wants to dehumanize them, they refuse. I think the show also encourages people to see the humanity of these women and of people who are incarcerated."
Cox also recognized her role as an activist and as a celebrity who's experienced more "privilege" than many trans people in America. "I think there are lots of trans folks who don't have the privilege that I have," she said, citing discriminatory laws in North Carolina and Texas. (She also took the time to say that President Trump "ran on an overtly white supremacist, xenophobic platform" during his campaign.)
"I hate the term 'role model,' but I do like the term 'possibility model,'" Cox said of her platform. Check out the full interview over at Channel 4 News.
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