Laverne Cox Continues to Be Inspiring
If you haven’t heard already, transgender super star and wonder woman Laverne Cox posed nude for Allure Magazine. While normally I’m a little against actresses allowing themselves to be sexualized by the mainstream media for doing something similar, but this time there’s certainly a more significant meaning behind this decision. She seems to share a similar opinion as she initially turned down the offer: “I said no initially, thought about it, and said no again,” she says. “But I’m a black transgender woman. I felt this could be really powerful for the communities that I represent. Black women are not often told that we’re beautiful unless we align with certain standards. Trans women certainly are not told we’re beautiful. Seeing a black transgender woman embracing and loving everything about herself might be inspiring to some other folks. There’s beauty in the things we think are imperfect. That sounds very cliché, but it’s true.” But the Orange is the New Black star wanted these pictures for herself too: “I honestly just want to make myself happy most, and if other people like it, then that’s great. If they don’t, then I’m still happy.”
It’s especially important because almost every time the media so much as mentions trans people, it’s because they died, whether by suicide or murder, and unfortunately a lot of times their lives turn into hashtags and people only care about them after they’ve passed. There’s no where near enough times that people appreciate and respect those in the trans community while they’re alive, but it’s nice to see that happening now with Laverne Cox, as she continues to be a sensational role model for the trans community. The other thing that’s so great about this is the way the media is talking about it because there’s no signs of transmisogyny. Like when you see an article about Bruce Jenner’s transition for example you see a lot of judgmental attitudes toward the former athlete’s gender identity and how he might want to live as a woman in the future. It’s not often that you hear people being judged for coming out as a trans man, but if you’re a trans woman it opens up way more doors for harassment and possible murder, especially since they’re some pretty big targets. The point is seeing a trans woman of color being treated respectfully for her decision to pose nude for a popular magazine and seen for who she really is (a woman) is really great progress and gives me hope for the trans population who don’t feel comfortable in their own skin because of the way people will react to them not conforming to traditional gender paradigms, including and especially non-passing trans people.
In addition to her success as a positive voice for trans people (of color), Ms. Cox has also been an Emmy nominee for her work on OINTB, has received numerous awards from the LGBTQ+ community for her contributions to the transgender community, and is now making history by starring in the upcoming legal drama for CBS, Doubt, where she will star as a defense lawyer and be one of the first trans actresses appearing in a broadcast network’s TV show and she’ll be playing one of the first transgender characters on a mainstream TV show.