In January, an actress from “Orange Is The New Black” appeared on Katie Couric’s daytime talk show and it made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Laverne Cox, who is transgender, appeared with trans model Carmen Carrera. Throughout the interview, Couric kept asking the two women questions about their transition, specifically their genitalia. Cox politely corrected Couric that focusing only on body parts detracts attention away from the issues that trans folks face, like lack of legal protection and violence. Couric was roundly criticized by LGBTQ advocates afterwards for her failed interview.
Recently, Laverne Cox appeared again on “Katie” and the two women addressed the previous interview. Keep reading »
“Everyone is a complicated human being, and everyone is strong and weak and funny and scared, and we get to have the full range of emotion experienced with these women. I don’t want to make a centralizing comment about womanhood, because I think that’s problematic from a feminist perspective, but we just see these amazingly complicated women, who are strong, and vulnerable, and scared, and want to support each other at the end of the day.
I think about #YesAllWomen and the culture of misogyny that I believe we exist in that a lot of people don’t want to acknowledge. I’ve said loving transgender people is revolutionary, but I think loving women — really loving women, is revolutionary too, in a social context that is deeply misogynistic, deeply does not celebrate women. And we have pockets of that, we do have places where we celebrate women a lot, but I think the way the culture is aligned and structured is misogynistic. It just is. So it’s really great to have a show that creates spaces that really do celebrate women and our diversity, and not just one kind of woman. That’s revolutionary.”
Transgender actress Laverne Cox spoke to ELLE about the complexity of the characters on “Orange Is The New Black” and what an impact that can have on viewers by portraying women as complicated people. I love Cox’s willingness to talk about subjects like misogyny and feminism in interviews. It’s really refreshing to have an actress on a hot show in the public eye right now who talks about those topics with candor. [ELLE]
Last week, “Orange Is The New Black” actress Laverne Cox appeared on the cover of TIME, illustrating a piece about how trans rights issues are “America’s next civil rights frontier.” Cox was the first-ever trans person to appear on TIME‘s cover.
This weekend National Review writer Kevin D. Williamson published a piece entitled “Laverne Cox Is Not A Woman,” which was later reprinted in the Chicago Sun-Times. Why anyone cares what Williamson — whose job is simply “roving correspondent” for the Review — has to say about transgender issues, I don’t know. But his piece — which we will not link to so as not to give it traffic — was so full of ignorant pseudoscience and bias that it couldn’t help but attract (mostly negative) attention. Keep reading »
The amazing Laverne Cox, transgender advocate and “Orange Is The New Black” actress, is on the cover of the new issue of TIME representing their cover story on transgender rights. Flawless. The interview inside is thankfully an interesting, thoughtful dialogue (take notes, Piers Morgan and Katie Couric!) on Cox’s journey and the transgender rights movement as a whole. Check it out!
“I remember being really conscious of not wanting to fight with another black woman on camera. I did an interview and the producers were like, “Well, this [other black woman on the show] said this about you. What do you have to say about that?” And I said I’m not fighting with another black woman on TV. Even during my elimination episode, when it came down to myself and another black woman, my mother — after watching — said, “Why didn’t you defend yourself?” And I just didn’t want to give television the satisfaction of seeing two black women going at it. We see that so much.”
“Orange Is The New Black” star Laverne Cox is the subject of a lengthly profile over at Buzzfeed, where she gives a fascinating walk-through of her long road to stardom. After moving to New York City to attend Marymount Manhattan College, Cox worked in nightclubs and acted in student films. Then, in 2008, she got cast on P. Diddy’s reality show, “I Want To Work For Diddy.” Believe it or not, reality TV was a positive experience for her. She credits Diddy for giving her exposure on national television, although she is very realistic and measured about what “a dubious distinction” it is to be “the first black trans woman to appear on a reality TV show.” One matter of principle for Cox, she explained, was refusing to play into the “angry black woman” stereotype that reality TV producers tried to coax out of her and instead held her tongue in situations where she otherwise might have spoken up. In a pop cultural landscape with brats like Justin Bieber and Lindsay Lohan making headlines, it’s refreshing to see a thoughtful, principled actress succeeding. [BuzzFeed]