Emmy-nominated actress Laverne Cox usually has celebratory and fun posts on her Instagram account, but on Saturday, she took to the social media platform to share her sobering account of a transphobic attack she and her friend experienced while at Griffith Park in Los Angeles.
In the video, she admits that she was in shock and was feeling “triggered” after an attack from a man who “aggressively” asked for the time.
Cox, who was masked and had a hoodie on during the walk, didn’t think to much of it until she heard the man ask “Guy or girl?” to her friend to which her friend responded “f*ck off.”
From there, things got physical as she explained that the man started to fight with her friend. Cox was taken aback by the fight and called 9-1-1 but the altercation seemed to have finished as fast as it started. The attacker disappeared from the scene.
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Cox felt that if the man wanted to ask her the “guy or girl” question and believed it was a way to target her as a trans woman. “I don’t know why, I don’t know why it matters. At the end of the day, it’s like who cares?” she said in the video. “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?”
As a trans woman, Cox knows what its like being harassed and bullied nearly all her life. “This isn’t shocking to me,” she admitted. “Obviously, this is my life. I’ve dealt with this a lot, but it never fails to be shocking.
She is grateful that she and her friend walked out of the situation safely. However, she seems affected in the video as she reflects on the incident.
“It doesn’t matter who you are,” she said. “You can be Laverne Cox, you know, or whatever that means. If you’re trans, you’re going to experience stuff like this.” Cox added, “It’s not your fault that there are people not cool with you existing in the world. We have a right to walk in the park.”
This comes after the recent celebration of Trans Day of Remembrance which honors and celebrats those in the trans community. It also comes after a year when trans people — specifically trans women of color — are being attacked murdered. People Nina Pop, Summer Taylor, Dustin Parker and Yunieski Carey Hererra are just the start of a long list of trans people that have been murdered — and the numbers continue to grow. Just last week, Asia Jynaé Foster was found dead in Houston, Texas and in October Felycya Harris was shot and killed in Augusta, Georgia.
According to Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide’s Trans Murder Monitoring Project, there has been a total of 350 murders of trans and gender-diverse people between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020. This is a 6% increase in reported murders from their 2019 update. The majority of the murders occurred in Brazil, Mexico, and the United States.
Watch Cox’s video below.