Actress Laverne Cox and a friend were the victims of a transphobic attack in Los Angeles on Saturday night. Cox recounted the incident in an Instagram post on Sunday.
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Cox uploaded the video shortly after the incident saying that she and a friend were out in Griffith Park for a socially-distanced walk when a man “aggressively” asked them what the time was. “The friend that I’m with looks at his watch and tells him the time,” she said, “and then the guy who asked for the time says to my friend: ‘Guy or girl?’ My friend says: ‘Fuck off.’”
“The guy really wanted me to answer so that he could spook whether I’m trans or not,” Cox said.
“I don’t know why, 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’s not safe in the world. And I don’t like to think about that a lot, but it’s the truth.”
“It’s the truth and it’s not safe if you’re a trans person. Obviously, I know this well. It’s just really sad.”
“It doesn’t matter who you are. You can be Laverne Cox, you know, or whatever that means. If you’re trans… you’re going to experience stuff like this.”
Cox says she was left “triggered” and “in shock” by the violent encounter, which she said “never fails to be shocking,” despite her “long history of street harassment in New York.”
“This has happened to me before,” she said. “I’ve been trans my whole life. I’ve been harassed and bullied my whole life. None of this is new, but it’s still just kind of like, ‘Who cares?’ and then ‘Why do you need to be aggressive?’”
At first, Cox said she debated sharing her story on social media and wondered what she could have done differently, before realizing “it’s not my fault that this happened.”
She also thanked her friend, who immediately recognized that Cox was the “target” of the attack and deescalated the situation.
“It’s important for me to remind myself and remind you that, when these things happen, it’s not your fault,” she continued. “It’s not your fault that there are people who are not cool with you existing in the world. … We have a right to walk in the park.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, “Cox, who made history in 2014 as the first out transgender actress to be nominated for an Emmy Award, has often used her platform to raise awareness about violence and discrimination against trans women.”