Laverne Cox at the Essence
Black Women in Hollywood Awards Gala.
Photo: Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Essence
Orange Is the New Black actress and advocate Laverne Cox paused on the red carpet of the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards Gala to talk intersectional feminism with the Cut. “Trans rights are women’s rights,” she commented. “Part of what’s so exciting about being at this event tonight is that I’m a black trans woman. I’m a woman but I’m also trans. It’s about always including trans voices in discussions about women’s rights. Black feminists like bell hooks inspired me in college and radicalized me around my womanhood and identity.”
As Cox joined the celebration of some of the most talented women working in Hollywood, including honorees Issa Rae and Janelle Monae, she pointed out that media representation is key. “The most important thing we can do is elevate the lived experiences and voices of actual trans people so people aren’t talking about us without us being at the table, without us being in the room. We have to empower trans people by lifting up their experiences and their stories.”