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Ellen Page Presents Stephen F. Kolzak Award to Laverne Cox at GLAAD Awards: VIDEO


Trans actress Laverne Cox received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the GLAAD Media Awards last night in Los Angeles. The Stephen F. Kolzak award is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for our community.

Cox spoke about the importance of getting trans stories written about in the media and roles created in entertainment. She also spoke about the documentary currently in production about trans woman and activist CeCe McDonald.

Said Cox: "I'm so moved by the work that GLAAD has been doing, particularly over the past year, to make sure that the 'T' is not silent in the LGBT community. For years, I was trying to have a career as an actor doing what I love to do most and was told repeatedly that they didn't know what to do with me, and that I would not work."


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Laverne Cox to Be Honored at GLAAD Media Awards, Ellen Page to Present

Today it was announced that Ellen Page will be presenting GLAAD's highest honor award to 'Orange is the New Black' star Laverne Cox at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in LA on April 12.

From GLAAD: Cox_page

Cox will receive GLAAD's Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality. The award is named after a successful casting director, who devoted the last part of his life to raising awareness in the entertainment industry about the discrimination faced by LGBT and HIV-positive people. Previous Stephen F. Kolzak honorees include Wanda Sykes, Rufus Wainwright, Melissa Etheridge, Bill Condon, Todd Haynes, Alan Ball, Ellen DeGeneres, and Sir Ian McKellen. […]

"Laverne Cox has reshaped the way Americans see transgender people and raised the bar in diverse representations of the LGBT community in entertainment," said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. "She is not only a talented actress, but a truly transformational leader in the LGBT equality movement. Through her tireless commitment to building understanding and acceptance through education and advocacy, Laverne is moving equality forward both on and off the screen."

Page named Cox as one of her inspirations when she came out as gay at an HRC conference last month.  

Laverne Cox Speech on Trans Struggles in America Brings the House Down: VIDEO


The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's 'Creating Change' conference is going on this week in Houston, Texas. Orange is the New Black actress gave a speech at the opening plenary which, as Good As You notes, brought the house down.

"This feels so amazing, all this love that you're giving me tonight. I have to say that a black, transgender woman from a working class background raised by a single mother — that's me — getting all this love tonight. This feels like the change I need to see more of in this country."


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Laverne Cox 'Deeply Moved' by Reaction to Her Katie Couric Appearance

Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox, whose interview with Katie Couric this week made headlines after Cox steered Couric away from a discussion of "private parts" toward one about identity, discrimination, and anti-violence, expressed gratitude on her Tumblr today for being able to elevate the conversation:

CoxI am so deeply moved by the dialogues that are happening around my appearance with Carmen Carrera on “The Katie Show” on Monday.  It is my dream that by highlighting the deep humanity of trans people’s lives in the media, elevating actual trans voices to speak the truth of our lived experiences in ways that don’t sensationalize and objectify us, those human voices and stories can be a part of the disruption needed to end the disproportionate injustices that threaten so many trans people’s lives, particularly the lives of trans women of color.   It is a state of emergency for far too many trans people across this country.  The stories of women like Islan Nettles and CeCe McDonald are far too commonplace in our community.  I look forward to engaging in more dialogues about the complicated intersectional issues around these injustices and ways to make them a thing of the past.  I am so grateful to Katie Couric and her show for the opportunity to highlight these important issues.

Watch the interview HERE if you missed it.

And if you missed the interview we did with Cox back in August, check it out HERE.

Laverne Cox and Carmen Carrera Enlighten Katie Couric on Gender Identity: VIDEO


Trans model Carmen Carrera and Orange is the New Black actress Laverne Cox appeared on Katie today and offered Katie Couric some guidance on gender identity, advising Couric to steer away from a fixation on "private parts" to that of identity and humanity.

Carrera pointed out that in interviews with trans people, interviews "always focus on either the transition or the genitalia" and "there's more to trans people than just that."

Cox joined the interview later and pointed out the disproportionate discrimination and violence that trans people face, adding "by focusing on bodies we don’t focus on the lived realities of that oppression and that discrimination."

Watch the interviews, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via autostraddle)


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Trans Actress Laverne Cox Creating Documentary About 2011 Cece McDonald Trans Bashing

Laverne Cox, the transgender actress famous for playing the trans inmate Sophia in the Netflix series Orange is the New Black is working on a documentary about the 2011 attack upon and subsequent imprisonment of transgender woman CeCe McDonald. Cox_mcdonald

For those of you unfamiliar with the case: Around midnight on June 5, 2011, 23-year-old CeCe McDonald was verbally and physically assaulted by Dean Schmitz and his friends. They called McDonald's group a bunch of "ni--ers" and "faggots" and Schmitz himself said, "Look at that boy dressed like a girl tucking her dick in."

Schmitz's ex-girlfriend Molly Flaherty allegedly broke a cocktail glass across McDonald's face, tearing open her cheek. And as the two groups began fighting, McDonald tried to flee; Schmitz pursued her. McDonalds ended up stabbing Schmitz in the chest with a pair of scissors from her purse — he later died from that wound.

McDonald was sentenced to 41 months in a Minnesota men's prison for second degree manslaughter and is reportedly scheduled for a January 13, 2014 release followed by another 13 months of supervised release.

Cox, who got to meet with McDonald several times over the course of the documentary, told Persephone magazine:

"CeCe’s story is one that should have been covered more in the press. Trans women, particularly trans women of color, experience disproportionate amounts of violence and not enough is being done to eradicate that violence. CeCe’s story in so many ways encapsulates the intersectional issues that lead to far too many of us experiencing violence. I wanted to do a piece that explores the nature of how race, class and gender affect violence towards trans women and also give CeCe a space to tell her story in her words in the context of a piece that truly values the lives of trans women of color."

In the same interview, Cox's co-producer Jac Gares cites a 2012 National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs report stating that of 25 anti-LGBT homicide victims in 2012 53.8% were transgender women and 73.1% were people of color.

You can help fund the documentary here.


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