In an Instagram Live on Sunday, acress Laverne Cox detailed her experience after she and a friend were the victims of a transphobic attack while walking through Los Angeles’ Griffith Park.
During her live stream, Cox stated that a man approached her and after ‘aggressively’ asking for the time, proceeded to ask her friend if Cox was a ‘guy or girl.’ As the scene escalated, the man began hitting her friend.
“I pull out my phone to call 911,” she said, “and all of a sudden the guy is gone and it’s over.”
“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?” she asked. “Who cares if I’m trans? How does this affect your life?”
Cox said that though she has experienced plenty of street harassment for being trans in the past, she had never seen an altercation become physical before.
“I’ve been harassed and bullied my whole life,” she said. “It never fails to be shocking, I guess.”
Cox rose to widespread fame in 2013 with her role as Sophia Burset in the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. She was the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy award in any acting category. In 2015, she became the first transgender woman to win an Emmy as an executive producer for her documentary Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word.
Throughout her career, Cox has won many awards for her activism in spreading awareness around the transgender community. Many within the LGBT community see her as a trailblazer for her work breaking barriers for trans people in Hollywood.
Cox said that her experience was a shocking reminder of the transphobia still running rampant in society. “I don’t like to think about that a lot, but it is the truth an it is not safe is you’re a trans person.”