Laverne Cox speaks out about the struggle of transgender prisoners
Laverne Cox once again used her platform to advocate on behalf of transgender people this weekend, at Sunday’s Emmy awards.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Cox spoke out about solitary confinement, a punishment often used against transgender people in prison.
Cox was attending the Emmys as a nominee for the category of Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama for her role of transgender inmate Sophia Burset in Orange is the New Black.
However she ultimately lost out on the award to Alexis Bledel, who won for her portrayal of Ofglen in The Handmaid’s Tale.
Cox told Entertainment Tonight that it meant so much that she had been nominated, as the storyline was so important to her.
“I wanted to get it right as much as possible because there are transgender people all over the country who are incarcerated, who are spending most of their time in solitary confinement. That is the way in which most trans people are housed in prison.”
Cox said she believes solitary confinement is “cruel and unusual punishment” that has damaging psychological effects.
“And I wanted to tell that story and honor the lives of the folks who are experiencing that as much as we could.”
She also told Entertainment Tonight about how she felt when she was recently asked to be a spokeswoman for Beyonce’s clothing line, Ivy Park.
“When we got the call it was, I was like, ‘Ahhh!’” she said.
“You scream, you scream and then it’s like okay I gotta work out harder and prep, so [when] we do this photo shoot, we bring it the way that B deserves and the way Ivy Park deserves.”
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“Beyonce’s been such a huge inspiration for me,” she said.
This is far from the first time Cox has used her position as a prominent transgender woman to fight for trans recognition and rights.
The treatment of transgender people in the prison system is an issue particularly close to her heart.
Cox was the executive producer on Free Cece, a documentary about Cece McDonald, an African-American transgender woman who spent 19 months of a 41-month prison sentence in a men’s prison, and was put in solitary confinement multiple times.