Laverne Cox has been one of our beauty icons and activist heroes for a long time. The actress and vocal civil rights champion attended this year's Beautycon festival in Los Angeles, where she shared a powerful message about the attack on trans rights under President Donald Trump's administration.
"We're in survival mode now, because so many basic rights we've fought for for a really long time are being threatened," Cox said, according to Pret-a-Reporter. "Trans people are being murdered disproportionately to other populations. I could go on and on."
It's true that trans people are targeted in horrific acts of violence at an alarming rate. In 2017 alone, at least 16 trans women have been murdered. Each victim was a woman of color.
Though Cox celebrated the fact that more trans folks are making a name for themselves online, she told the audience that allies need to step up, now more than ever before.
"The shift that's happened in the past few years that trans people are more visible; because of social media, more of our voices are elevated, so we're able to talk back in a way that we have not been able to before...But we need more allies coming on board to say these lives matter," she said.
Cox said that one of the ways she plans to further her activism is to amplify more trans voices in Hollywood.
"I'm an actress, first and foremost," she said. "But I want to produce more and be involved behind the scenes in telling these stories, because I believe that so much going on with trans people, in terms of misinformation, has to do with how our stories are told in the media."
While onstage, Cox also shared an inspiring message about her own beauty and self-worth.
"I learned a long time ago that I wasn't going to get anywhere trying to be something I'm not," she said. "I'm obviously a trans person. I have a deep voice, wide shoulders, big hands, and big feet. I'm not beautiful despite of those things; I'm beautiful because of those things...If you can empower those parts of yourself that people make fun of, no one can touch you."