May 30th, 2014
Fashion News, Snapshot
Snapshot: Laverne Cox for Time Magazine
By Claire

laverne cox for time magazine
 “Orange Is The New Black” star Laverne Cox covers the latest issue of Time magazine, which explores the plight of Transgender people.    
Excerpts from her interview:

Is there a moment or time you remember first feeling like you might be transgender?

I tell this story about third grade. My third grade teacher called my mom and said ‘Your son is going to end up in New Orleans wearing a dress.’ Up until that point I just thought that I was a girl and that there was no difference between girls and boys. I think in my imagination I thought that I would hit puberty and I would start turning into a girl.

Are there any particular instances of bullying that stand out in your memory?

There was this one instance in junior high when I had gotten off the bus and I was chased by a group of kids, which was, you know, pretty normal. They couldn’t really bully me on the bus because the bus driver could see in the rearview mirror, and that wasn’t allowed. But the second we got off the bus, they would try to beat me up. So I’d have to start running, immediately. So that day I was running for my life, basically, and four or five kids caught me. They were in the band. And I remember being held down and hit with drumsticks by these kids. And a parent saw it, the parent of some other student, and called the principal and the principal called my mother and my mother found out about it.

The people out there in America who have no idea what being transgender means, what do they need to understand?

There’s not just one trans story. There’s not just one trans experience. And I think what they need to understand is that not everybody who is born feels that their gender identity is in alignment with what they’re assigned at birth, based on their genitalia. If someone needs to express their gender in a way that is different, that is okay, and they should not be denied healthcare. They should not be bullied. They don’t deserve to be victims of violence. … That’s what people need to understand, that it’s okay and that if you are uncomfortable with it, then you need to look at yourself.

Why do you think that makes people so uncomfortable?

We live in an uncertain world and we want to believe that what a man is and what a woman is–I know that. And people don’t want to critically interrogate the world around them. Whenever I’m afraid of something or I’m threatened by something, it’s because it brings up some sort of insecurity in me. I think the reality is that most of us are insecure about our gender. They think, ‘Okay, if there’s this trans person over here, then what does that make me?’ We want to just coast along in a belief system that makes us feel secure, because we are a culture, as Brene Brown would say, that is intolerant to vulnerability. And if we are in a position where we have to begin to question this very basic idea of ‘A man has a penis and a woman has a vagina,’ then that’s a lot of vulnerability.

Where is America when it comes to the acceptance of trans people?

We are in a place now where more and more trans people want to come forward and say ‘This is who I am.’ And more trans people are willing to tell their stories. More of us are living visibly and pursuing our dreams visibly, so people can say, ‘Oh yeah, I know someone who is trans.’ When people have points of reference that are humanizing, that demystifies difference. Social media has been a huge part of it and the Internet has been a huge part of it, where we’re able to have a voice in a way that we haven’t been able to before. We’re being able to write our stories and we’re being able to talk back to the media … We are the reason. And we are setting the agenda in a different way.

See the full interview here

Behind the Scenes:

Spied @TheYBF

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7 Responses to “Snapshot: Laverne Cox for Time Magazine”

  1. Tish says:

    This post hit home with me because my brother is transgender, and she is the one who taught me how to tap into my artistic side and to be myself regardless of what anyone thinks. I am so happy that Time put this amazing person on the cover of their magazine. This shows us that our world is slowly changing, although it’s still difficult for others to accept, people need to understand that to exist is to change. Kudos Time Magazine.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I appreciate Time magazine reaching out to diversify its cover by placing a transgender man on the cover however I don’t agree with a lot of what Laverne said. He, because he is still a he to me, spoke about people being afraid of transgenders because it makes them vulnerable, but vulnerable to what? If you do not question your own gender identity then what are you afraid of?
    The problem with this society is people feel the pendulum has to be on either end of extreme. It’s not okay to be beaten by your peers and taunted for what you feel is your gender identity, however neither is it okay to pander to a 5 year olds belief he is a female and allow him to use the girls bathroom for example. Although I would refer to Laverne as a she in his presence, to me he was born with male genitalia and is still a he to me.
    While I support gay and transgender rights I’m tired of the extreme left who feels it’s okay to use elementary school or middle school to explore a child’s gender identify crises. Or to act like a transgender man is now a woman. In my opinion they should check the box labeled other.

  3. Carla says:

    Brava, Laverne! Represent!

  4. Ashley M says:

    How hilarious that the “anonymous” above says “I support gay and transgender rights…” But the paragraph below that sentence let’s us know that they indeed do not support those rights. They don’t even respect those rights, they prove so by calling Laverne Cox a man on several occasion. If nothing at all this is about choice. You would not call Muhammad Ali Cassius Clay. Allow people to be themselves. Your like or love of that choice is irrelevant, just respect it.

  5. Feather says:

    Well I thought this was little Kim but I forgot she doesn’t look this good anymore.

  6. tiny says:

    I thought that was Beyonce for a quick second

  7. And This... says:

    And this is the black “male” voice??? SMDH I don’t have anything against them, but when will a STRONG, STRAIGHT black men get a platform? I’ll wait… They want us to believe they no longer exist.

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