Laverne Cox Reveals She Was Targeted In A Transphobic Attack

by Christina Marfice
Emma McIntyre /AMA2020/Getty

While neither were hurt, Laverne Cox said she and a friend were “in shock” following a transphobic attack

Ever since her starring role on Orange Is the New Black that made her a household name, it’s been impossible for most of us to see Laverne Cox as anything other than what she is: An incredibly talented actress. But, unfortunately, there are still many people who can’t see past the fact that she’s trans, and that was demonstrated over the weekend, when she and a friend were the subject of a transphobic attack while walking in LA’s Griffith Park.

Cox told her story in an Instagram live video, and it’s absolutely heartbreaking.

In the video, Cox detailed how she and her friend were approached by a man who first just asked them what time it was, but then took on a more aggressive demeanor as he asked her, “Guy or girl?” After her friend told the man to “fuck off,” he started hitting them, and didn’t stop until Cox took out her phone to call 911, she said.

“This dude was looking for trouble… because I happened to be a trans person in public,” she continued. “None of this is new, but it’s still just kind of like… why do you need to be aggressive?”

Cox also talked about how she’s struggled with blaming herself for the incident.

“I started blaming myself. We were walking in the park. We weren’t doing anything,” she said. “It’s important to remind myself and remind you that when these things happen, it’s not your fault… that there are people not cool with you existing in the world.”

Later in the video, she mentioned how this incident reminded her of living in New York City and being regularly harassed there.

“I’ve had a long history of street harassment in New York,” Cox said. “At the end of the day, it’s like who cares? I’m in a hoodie and yoga pants, completely covered up, I’ve got my mask on. Who cares if I’m trans? Why does this affect your life?”

She’s right. The fact that she’s trans is no one’s business but her own. That she’s still publicly targeted in this way is a horrifying reality that all cisgender people need to know about, and fight against.

“It’s not safe in the world,” Cox said toward the end of her video. “I don’t like to think about that a lot, but it is the truth and it is not safe if you’re a trans person.”