Entertainment

Laverne Cox sums up the fight for trans rights in this powerful 4 minute video

Joseph McCormick August 11, 2017
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Laverne Cox

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for NARAS)

Emmy nominated trans actor Laverne Cox has appeared in a powerful video telling the story of the transgender rights movement in the US.

The video is accompanied with illustrations by Molly Crabapple, and sums up the history of opposition to the transgender rights movement as well as struggles and discrimination faced.

Four minutes long, Cox says the video is important as it highlights moves by the Trump administration to roll back on trans rights victories.

Laverne Cox

“Rather than invest in our survival,” she says in the video, “the new administration has attempted to both literally and figuratively delete us, and has ignored requests to investigate escalating violence against us.”

She adds that her “trancestors” have overcome massive issues, and is hopeful that the future of the community will be positive.

“When we manage to survive and even to love ourselves, we are stronger than ever,” she adds.

“Our community is resilient and our history of resistance runs deeps.”

Check it out below:

Earlier this year, Cox highlighted a dramatic need for more trans representation in Hollywood.

The actor, who is best known for playing Sophia in Orange is the New Black stressed that an increase of trans representation would help to combat transphobic attitudes.

Currently, out of 260 LGBT+ characters on TV, only 11 are transgender and three of those are on the same show – Transparent.

On a panel about trans trends at GLAAD, Cox spoke with Alexandra Billings, Shadi Petosky, Rhys Ernst, and Jill Soloway about the portrayal of trans characters and why it matters.

Cox explained that too often it feels like the show’s creators spend too much time focussing on the transition storyline of trans characters, rather than their life afterwards.

She said: “Transition narratives are most useful within the community.

“They are not problematic, but it becomes the only thing people focus on. My life got way more interesting after I transitioned.”

The actor likened it to storylines of LGB characters focussing on them coming out.

She added that it was important to keep normalising trans characters because there is too many “misconceptions” about who trans people really are.

“There’s never an advantage of killing trans people.

“There’s a lot of misconceptions who trans people are.

“It’s crucial to have representation on TV to go beyond those tropes, and it’s a crucial part of making policy,” Cox said.

Cox recently addressed the controversy around appointing cisgender actors to play trans roles after controversial clips from the film “Anything” were released.

The film follows the story of a transgender sex worker but Matt Bomer, who is not trans, has been cast in the role.

A number of people criticised the decision to cast Bomer, including actor Jen Richards who is trans and auditioned for the part.

Cox explained that she believes having trans actors helps the audience connect on another level.

She said: “My experience as a trans woman playing a trans character is that I have found that audiences not only have empathy for the character that I play but they find themselves having empathy for the actor who plays that character.

“And I think there’s a lot of evidence that this moment happening with me and ‘Orange’ has created an enormous amount of social change. Right? I mean, like just look at the resume! The proof is there.”

Related topics: laverne cox, LGBT, representation, Trans, Transgender, US

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