“Orange Is The New Black”‘s Laverne Cox Worries About Being “Pretty Enough”

“I’m insecure about how I look … I was looking at some stills from the show that are up online. [In the past] I was like, “When I am successful, I’m going to look differently. I will have had more surgery, I will be thinner. And that will equal me being successful.” And then I was looking at myself with all the imperfections that I see, and still people are relating to this character, people are connecting to her. On social media people love Sophia. So I’m on this show that is kind of a hit now and I don’t look like Beyoncé. I haven’t had the extreme makeover to look like that, so maybe I can just be authentically myself. Maybe that’s enough.

A lot of it is just about me wanting to beat myself up because I’m not pretty enough. I’ve had this thing where people are writing all sort of articles, “Laverne Cox has broken the trans glass ceiling.” People are writing all this crazy stuff that I’m this groundbreaking whatever. I have moments where I’m like, I’m not pretty enough or passable enough to be that girl. I’m not pretty enough to really represent the community in this way. Sometimes I sound like a man and all that kind of stuff where I feel like I’m not feminine enough, I’m not enough authentically. Also, I’ve noticed the biggest way that internalized homophobia, racism, or transphobia manifests itself is in how we treat each other.”

– “Orange Is The New Black” actress Laverne Cox, on her insecurities about being a trans role model, and how her internalized transphobia manifests in her life. Cox, who got her start in reality TV — on “I Want To Work For Diddy,” no less — also discusses how difficult it can be to date while trans and visible:

“When you’re on TV it actually makes it harder, because most men that are into transgender women don’t want anyone to know about it. A lot of the, “Am I passable enough?” stuff comes up in dating. A lot of men want to date their fantasy, and their fantasy is a trans woman that no one would ever know was trans. Once a lot of guys find out I have a high profile, they know they can’t deal with this. It scares them off. I’m allegedly intimidating anyway.”

Her whole interview with Gawker’s Rich Juzwiak is absolutely worth a read. [Gawker]