Entertainment » Celebrities

Laverne Cox Talks Trans Issues in ’TakePart Live’

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Monday Jul 7, 2014

As part of their coverage for LGBT Pride month in June, Pivot's interactive news show, "TakePart Live" featured an interview with "Orange is the New Black" star Laverne Cox. The transgender celebrity had a candid discussion with co-hosts Meghan McCain and Jacob Soboroff about her journey to acceptance.

Cox opened up about her personal journey with her mother saying, "she had difficulty with pronouns and with getting used to calling me a different name and accepting me as her daughter. But eventually she did and it took a lot of difficult conversations, but we had those conversations with a lot of love and a lot of empathy and I'm really, really proud of her and she's proud of me."

McCain, an outspoken LGBT supporter recently appointed to GLAAD's National Board of Directors, talked to Cox about the roles of transgender characters on television, and real-life transgender individuals like CeCe McDonald, a transwoman imprisoned for defending herself in an attack about whom the documentary "Free CeCe" is inspired.

"On 'Orange,' our writers are so brilliant and I think they do a really good job of making Sophia just one of the girls," said Cox. "She has specific issues that relate to her being trans, but she deals with the same things that everyone else deals with; she's incarcerated, she has a family on the outside, she's negotiating, does she have a relationship with the family, that's not a trans issue that's a human issue."

Cox has been introducing viewers of the hit show to the plight of transgender people in America, a segment of LGBT that is rarely in the spotlight. She has been advocating for more tolerance and stopping the violence against the transgender community.

In an interview with Time magazine last month, Cox revealed her personal struggles, but also highlighted some alarming statistics about violence against trans people: In 2013, of the 18 anti-LGBT murders across the country, 12 involved trans women.

"We have to look at the intersection of race and gender to stop violence," Cox told Time.

Watch the full episode and the latest clips from TakePart Live, a freewheeling, intelligent conversation among personalities who may not agree on the issues but are willing to entertain an alternative point of view, unlike nearly all issue-oriented cable television. The new season, produced by Embassy Row (Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live," AMC's "Talking Bad" and "The Talking Dead"), airs live Monday through Thursdays, with a special highlights show on Fridays. McCain and Soboroff, and their guests, go beyond the headlines and hashtags to address stories that matter to Millennials.

Tune in live every Monday through Thursday at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, only on Pivot.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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