Laverne Cox Speaks Out About How It Is ‘Not Safe To Be Openly Trans’ But She Is Doing What She Can To Change That

Laverne Cox is continuing to work to break down barriers that trans people and actors alike face.

The actress is up for her third Emmy nomination for her part in “Orange Is The New Black” and is the only openly trans person nominated at all this year.

“I’m surprised that I’m still the only one,” Cox told TheWrap.

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IMDb recently updated their policy to remove the birth name of transgender actors from their database but were under fire for the “half-measure” in protecting trans people after putting them at risk for discrimination.

Cox commented on the policy change saying that being referred to by their birth name is “deeply painful”.

“We experience so much discrimination when we’re dead-named and misgendered, because what happens underneath that is the assumption that trans people aren’t who we say we are, that we’re somehow fraudulent,” Cox said. “All trans people are not openly trans, it’s not safe to be openly trans. I’m doing everything I can to make the world safe to be openly trans, but it’s not always safe. So publishing people’s birth names is not always a safe thing.”

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Since landing “Orange Is The New Black” seven years ago, she says the show has been able to provide “representation that we’ve never seen before.”

Cox was about to quit acting but figured she would give it one last go when she got the “OITNB” audition. The rest is history, including her dance videos on Instagram.

“When I am dancing in my glam room on Instagram, it’s like the little kid who danced to take myself away from the unfortunate, or the not ideal, environment I was in growing up in Mobile Alabama,” Cox added. “So if you can find that little kid in you and dance like that little kid, oh, I think that’s one of the best things in the world.”

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