Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox has said “it’s not safe if you’re a trans person” after being caught up in a transphobic attack in Los Angeles.
Cox posted a 10-minute Instagram video explaining she had been walking with a friend in a park on Sunday when a man “aggressively” asked for the time.
He then proceeded to ask the friend if Cox was a “guy or girl?”
The man then physically attacked her friend, according to the star, who said she was “still in shock”.
“The guy is like hitting my friend, and then my friend is going toward him,” said Cox.
“I pull out my phone and I call to dial 911, and all of a sudden it’s over and the guy is gone.”
She added: “The guy really wanted me to answer so that he could spook whether I’m trans or not. 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?”
Cox played Sophia Burset in Orange is the New Black, the Netflix comedy drama series about inmates at a US women’s prison. She became the first transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy Award.
She said she had dealt with similarly transphobic incidents a lot in New York, but that “it never fails to be shocking”.
The 48-year-old said she had “been harassed and bullied my whole life” and felt “lucky and grateful” that her friend was there this weekend. The attack, she said, was a reminder that “it’s not safe in the world”.
“It’s not safe if you’re a trans person. Obviously, I know this well. It’s just really sad,” she sighed.
“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.”
Laverne Cox says ‘it’s not safe if you’re a trans person’ after attack
— THE WORLD NEWS (@NEWSWORLD555) November 30, 2020
Last month, UK crime statistics obtained by the BBC showed there had been a 25% increase in reports of transphobic hate crimes in the UK.
Reacting to the news of Cox’s attack in the US, fellow actress Sharon Stone posted: “That’s a lot to process. You seem like you’re back on solid ground now. Good job.”
Little Fires Everywhere star Kerry Washington added: “Woman!!!!!!!! Ugh. I am so sorry. Love you.”
Meanwhile, artist and photographer Texas Isaiah wrote: “I’m so sorry. I’m glad you and your friend are okay. I’m sending love and protection y’all’s way!”
Jessica Alba offered: “I’m so sorry. So glad you are safe.”