#FridayFeminist: Laverne Cox
“...there are lots of people who don’t believe the same things I do. I’ve been thinking a lot about what they might be feeling and I think they’re feeling left out. So many of us feel scarcity. A lot of people think ‘If this undocumented immigrant gets a job they’re taking it from me.’ Or ‘If this transgender person is able to have equal rights and access then they’re taking something from me.’...” — Laverne Cox
Finding something to say about #FridayFeminist Laverne Cox is so easy, we could literally end it here with the above photo and, “Need we say more?”
But, we won’t do that. And it’s because of what Laverne has taught us as the Executive Producer of her buzzworthy film Disclosure, that we won’t.
“Disclosure shows audiences that decades-old stereotypes, memes, and tropes in the media both form and reflect our understanding of trans issues. They have shaped the cultural narrative about transgender people, and inform everything from dating and domestic violence, to school policy and national legislation. Since 80% of the population have never met a transgender person, all they know is rooted in media depictions, which are predominantly problematic and have rarely included participation by actual trans people. Disclosure is aimed at that 80%.”
Laverne Cox is a three-time Emmy-nominated actress, an Emmy-winning documentary film producer, and she is a vocal, and active, equal rights advocate.
Her groundbreaking role in the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black was Laverne’s introduction to most of us, and it led to her to becoming the first openly transgender actress nominated for a primetime acting Emmy.
She is a singer, an artist, and a powerful advocate for the LGBTQ who moves us to see beyond gender expectations.
In an article that appeared in Marie Claire back in 2016, Laverne says something very relevant to now, and the new reality we are experiencing together globally.
“I’m obviously a progressive and there are lots of people who don’t believe the same things I do. I’ve been thinking a lot about what they might be feeling and I think they’re feeling left out. So many of us feel scarcity. A lot of people think ‘If this undocumented immigrant gets a job they're taking it from me.’ Or ‘If this transgender person is able to have equal rights and access then they’re taking something from me.’ It’s a scarcity narrative. If we can move from scarcity to abundance in our rhetoric and the ways we see ourselves and each other in the world, I think that will allow us to begin to believe that there’s enough to go around. We can live in this world together because there is enough to go around.”
Celebrating a birthday today, Laverne is not only a woman of colour gracing the the covers of Time, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and Essence, she is the first openly transgender person to do it, something worth mentioning.
photo credit: (top image) https://www.flickr.com/photos/idominick/13220824524/