'We Have a Right to Walk in the Park': Laverne Cox Recalls Recent Transphobic Attack

Laverne Cox speaks to demonstrators in favor of LGBT rights rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, October 8, 2019.
Laverne Cox speaks to demonstrators in favor of LGBT rights rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, October 8, 2019.
Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images (Getty Images)

Laverne Cox (Bad Hair, Promising Young Woman) recently shared details of a transphobic attack that occurred while she and her friend were walking at Griffith Park in Los Angeles.

Advertisement

Content Warning: The following article contains an account that includes transphobic language and anti-trans violence.

“We were just attacked in Griffith Park. We are fine. Be careful out there. #TransIsBeautiful” Cox wrote in the caption of an Instagram video she posted on Sunday (after she went on Instagram Live to first tell the story).

As Deadline reports:

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 too much of it until she heard the man ask “Guy or girl?” to her friend to which her friend responded “fuck 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.

“I don’t know why, I don’t know why it matters. At the end of the day, it’s like who cares?” Cox said. “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 noted that though she is not shocked by this bigoted behavior and other forms of street harassment as it is, unfortunately, a part of her life, stressing, “it never fails to be shocking.” She also noted that—along with the pandemic—the incident made her hyper-aware of leaving the house.

Advertisement

According to Human Rights Campaign, “at least 39 transgender or gender non-conforming people [have been] fatally shot or killed by other violent means, the majority of which were Black and Latinx transgender women” this year. Just over a week ago on Nov. 20 was Trans Day of Remembrance, which honors the memory of transgender people who have lost their lives due to anti-transgender violence.

“The biggest obstacle we face is that as we increase our visibility, we also embolden the ongoing transgender backlash,” trans journalist and founder of the multimedia platform TransLash media, Imara Jones recently told The Root. “This means that there’s a long way to go to achieve liberation with a lot of battles left ahead.”

Advertisement

“It doesn’t matter who you are,” Cox noted. “You can be Laverne Cox, you know, or whatever that means. If you’re trans, you’re going to experience stuff like this. 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.”

Cox recently teamed up with Citi for its “True Name” initiative, “a first among major banks, offering transgender and nonbinary customers the ability to use their chosen names instead of their legal name or deadname.”

Advertisement

We’re relieved Cox and her friend are safe and send both of them our well wishes. For a list of resources and support for transgender people and allies, please visit glaad.org.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

DISCUSSION

sigmapapi
sigmapapi...(No me importa!)

This guy probably uses the excuse, “These people are an affront to God” or “It is an affront to me and the natural order of things” or whatever quasi-religious bullshit he is on. OR...

He found Ms. Cox’ friend attractive and is lashing out in anger over his own shit.

Either way, no one has the right to intrude upon two people walking in the park unless your intentions are in good faith and honorable.

Leave people alone...