Laverne Cox: 'Transgender people will not be erased'

Laverne Cox: 'Transgender people will not be erased'
Laverne Cox

Actress Laverne Cox recognised the Transgender Day of Visibility on Friday (31Mar17) by sharing a moving message of solidarity.

The Orange is the New Black star transitioned from her birth sex as a male into a female years before she became a star, but she insists her fame does not help make her life as a transgender person any easier.

"As an out, visible, black, transgender woman every day is #TransDayOfVisibility for me," the American actress and activist wrote on her Instagram account on Friday. "My blackness, transness, and womanhood are political, social and historic realities. But my spirit, my soul, my humanity transcend these identity categories. As an artist, I have always yearned for transcendence. Today, I continue to do the spiritual work towards that transcendence. But the political, social and historic realities of the multiple identities I inhabit, continue to affect how I and people like me move through the world and access space and resources."

Since taking office in January (17), U.S. President Donald Trump has removed workplace protection legislation aimed to prevent discrimination against members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community and his administration has also angered civil rights advocates by choosing to support legislation, such as North Carolina's HB2 'bathroom bill', that prevents transgender people from equal access to public restrooms.

Laverne feels it's important for her to use her celebrity status to speak about these issues to prevent others from being harmed by injustices.

"We acknowledge that trans folks experience violence disproportionately, that (in) the past 3 years there have been more murders of trans folks than since we have been tracking trans homicides," she noted. "We acknowledge that trans students are under attack in the United States. We #StandwithGavin Grimm (a transgender student who is taking his fight to the Supreme Court) and trans students like him across this nation fighting for dignity and equal access. We acknowledge that bills like the North Carolina House Bill 2 that restricts transgender people's public bathroom use and the bill masquerading as a repeal of that bill, but (it) is only more discrimination, (they) are about erasing trans people from public life."

Cox concluded: "(But) on this Trans Day of Visibility, we reassert that we will not and cannot be erased."

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