Laverne Cox Targeted in Transphobic Assault in Los Angeles
Actress Laverne Cox was the victim of transphobic harassment and violence in Griffith Park, L.A.
The Emmy-nominated actress went on Instagram Live and recorded a 10-minute video where she detailed being out for a walk with her friend when a man asked them for the time in a very aggressive manner. While her friend was checking their watch for the time, the man allegedly asked Cox if she was “a guy or a girl.”
The male friend, who is remaining anonymous, told the man to “fuck off,” and then, in a horrifying escalation, the friend was attacked by the man.
“I pull out my phone and call 911,” Cox recounts. “All of a sudden it’s over, and the guy is gone. I put my phone away and I’m like: ‘What just happened?’”
Though Cox infuses the tale with her usual flare that can seem almost comedic, it is the typical Black manner of laughing through the pain. As a fellow woman, I can relate to that sudden turn a man can take of violence—physical and verbal—that can come out of nowhere and leave you completely stunned.
Cox says that while the incident was shocking and triggering, it wasn’t surprising. Her friend stated that he’s never seen that when he’s hung out with trans people before, but Cox said this isn’t the first time even though it doesn’t always come to blows.
“I have a long history of street harassment in New York,” she said, and talked about how it happened so quickly she didn’t have time to record or anything because it was just so sudden.
“It’s not safe in the world, and I don’t like to think about that a lot, but it is the truth. It’s the truth. You’re not safe if you are a trans person. Obviously, I know this well. It’s just really sad.”
Cox was literally just walking through the park with her friend, and yet, this is the harassment she faced.
She added, “The guy really wanted me to answer so that he could spook whether I’m trans or not. I don’t know why it matters. At the end of the day, it’s like who cares? I’m in a hoodie and yoga pants, I’m completely covered up, I’ve got my mask on. Who cares if I’m trans? How does this affect your life?”
It felt, for Cox, that the assailant was simply looking for trouble, and this, sadly, has been her whole life as a trans woman.
“If you’re trans, you’re going to experience stuff like this,” Cox said. “Luckily, my friend is safe. Luckily, I’m safe.”
Still, as we are celebrating Elliot Page, he himself brought up the disproportionate violence against Black and Latinx trans people that makes it hard for trans folks to live their own lives and truth in peace.
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(via CBS, image: Greg Doherty/Getty Images)
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