Emmy-nominated actress Laverne Cox — recognized as the most publicly visible representative of the transgender community — has stepped back from behind her prison hairdresser’s chair (on the acclaimed Netflix series, Orange is the New Black) in recent months and into an activist role for the general safety and well-being of the transgender community. Her work to educate the public and bring transgender rights to everyone’s attention has been a huge inspiration for me.
The actress has utilized her rapid climb to fame as an outlet to help those who face the same stigmas she encounters every day. Cox has lived as a post-op transgender woman for an undisclosed period of time. She shares her experiences from her transition and daily life to educate audiences on the reality transgender or transitioning individuals face every day. As she said in a speech last January, “Healthcare for trans people is a necessity. It is not elective, it is not cosmetic, it is life-saving…But we are more than our bodies.”
Cox has undoubtedly become the most visible advocate the transgender community has ever had. Following a September 16 appearance at Ohio State University, Cox announced that she will host an upcoming documentary on MTV to further educate audiences on LGBT youth.
The documentary, titled Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word, will feature seven trans individuals of varying backgrounds and stories, all aged 18 to 24. The show will explore “the intersection of race and gender identity” with the seven young people. The first airing is scheduled for October 17 at 7 p.m. EST on MTV and Logo.
With Cox’s inspiring activist roles in mind, let’s shift the focus back to the Bobcats. Our campus has sponsored a host of LGBT social activities through Ohio University’s LGBT Center. With a combination of college graduates and current OU students, the center brings all students together in supportive and educational social activities and training programs (most notably the popular SpeakOUT! program).
Because I am sure the question has come up while reading this, yes, I am a proud ally of the LGBT community. That means I am simply not just a part of the LGBT community, but I support equality and every effort made to educate the public on the importance of general equality for all. OU has been amazing with all of the LGBT programs that have been conducted this semester, and I recommend everyone become more involved in the coming weeks to learn more and become more active in the fight for equality, from our city of Athens to the global scale.
Jordan Williams is a junior studying English and Women’s and Gender studies. Email her at email@example.com