actor | advocate
Actor Laverne Cox has graduated from bit parts to full-fledged celebrity as a tv + film star. But, the leading role that has been earning her the most press is also the one closest to her heart ~ that of a "possibility model" who advocates for the LGBT community.
As an openly transgender person, Laverne has worked her way toward a lot of important firsts ~ everything from being the first trans woman immortalized in wax at Madame Toussauds to being the first featured on the cover of TIME magazine. Now, the actor is using her time in the spotlight to help other bullied kids grow up to realize their big dreams. And, live them out in public.
fearless advocacy | for transgender visibility + human rights
standout acting | on the small + silver screens
2010 | debuted her own VH1 reality tv show TRANSform Me
2014 | nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award
2015 | named to People's 100 Most Beautiful People + Time's 100 Most Influential People lists
from | to
bullied Alabama teen | breakout actor-producer + world-famous advocate
May 29, 1972
The United States
1 twin brother | M Lamar
~ who plays Laverne's pre-transition character on Orange is the New Black ~
Alabama School of Fine Arts
~ Birmingham, Alabama ~
Indiana University Bloomington
Marymount Manhattan College
~ New York City ~
the LGBT community
Sarah Kate Ellis
image creditscollapse bio bits
"By doing the work to love ourselves more, I believe we will love each other better."Hung up on Our Bullies | april 2013
"I would never be so arrogant to think that someone should model their life after me. But the idea of 'possibility'—the idea that I get to live my dreams out in public, hopefully will show to other folks that it’s possible. So I prefer the term ‘possibility model’ to ‘role model.’"Laverne Cox on the fight for equality trans people face | january 2014
"The preoccupation with transition and with surgery objectifies trans people, and we don't get to really deal with the real lived experiences."Laverne Cox Interview with Katie Couric | january 2014
"When we love someone, we respect them . . . And we let them dictate the terms of who they are and what their story is."2014 Creating Change Conference | february 2014
"Each and every one of us has the capacity to be an oppressor . . . I want to encourage each and every one of us to interrogate how we might be an oppressor, and how we might be able to become liberators for ourselves and each other."acceptance speech for the Stephen F. Kolzak Award | april 2014
"When people have points of reference that are humanizing, that demystifies difference."Laverne Cox Talks to TIME About the Transgender Movement | may 2014
"We are not what other people say we are. We are who we know ourselves to be, and we are what we love. That’s OK."We Are What We Love: An Interview With Laverne Cox | july 2014
"We are born as who we are . . . the gender thing is something that someone imposes on you."Surely Laverne | july 2014
"If I’m embracing a patriarchal gaze with this presentation, it’s the way that I’ve found something that feels empowering…I’ve never been interested in being invisible and erased."A Public Dialogue Between bell hooks and Laverne Cox | october 2014
Laverne speaking at the 25th annual GLAAD awards
GLAAD gave a nod to Laverne's ground-breaking work as an LGBT advocate by honoring her with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award in 2014. In her acceptance speech, Laverne spoke about how all of us must address + fix our own internalized misogyny, racism, homophobia and transphobia.
Laverne's famous TIME Magazine cover
Laverne became the first openly transgender person to grace the cover of TIME. In this trailblazing feature story, Laverne opens up about her experiences growing up and how they've shaped who she is today.
Laverne Cox | TIME Magazine
The T Word
Laverne added "producer" to her list of entertainment-industry credits with the VH1 series TRANSform Me in 2010. In 2014, she presented this moving MTV documentary series about 7 trans teens from around the country. Her latest project? A film about incarcerated trans woman CeeCee McDonald.
MTV | Laverne Cox