born 1984

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.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Laverne Cox (12)

"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 a trans woman is called a man, that is an act of violence."

Keynote Address | february 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

"Who you are authentically is alright."

It Got Better | june 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

"I’m so grateful that I had the luxury of transitioning in private. Because when you transition in the public eye, the transition becomes the story."

This week's cover: Laverne Cox | june 2015
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curated with care by Alicia Williamson