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Orange is the New Black and Caitlyn Jenner
Season 4 of Orange is the New Black arrives onNetflix on Friday 17 June. cheap moncler jackets In this interview, first published in June 2015, Laverne Cox talksabout her role in the hitseries,and the challenges facing trans people today
Laverne Cox has accomplished a fistful of firsts over the past couple of years. The first black transgender woman to have a major role on an American TV show in the Netflix hit Orange Is the New Black she is also the first transgender person to moncler outlet online be nominated for a primetime Emmy. And last summer she graced the cover of Time, with the headline»The Transgender Tipping Point»suggesting that Cox’s success, as an actress and an activist, symbolises a new acceptance of trans people.
Still, she is reluctant to break out the bunting. «I think there’s something shifting in terms of visibility and best moncler jackets media representation,» she tells me when we meet. «But in terms discount moncler jackets of the day to day lives of trans people, we still experience violence moncler outlet sale at a disproportionate rate, as well as homelessness, unemployment, the denial of health care, and being criminalised and incarcerated. There are stillover 30 states in the USthat don’t have any anti discrimination protections for trans people at all.»
Read: Orange is the New Black, season 4, spoiler free review: ‘is this the darkest season yet?’
Articulate, informed moncler outlet prices and diplomatic, it is hard to imagine a better ambassador than Cox (who coyly refuses to reveal her age). When I arrive at Stella’s shoot in a Manhattan penthouse close to her home, she is the very definition of fierce glamour. At 5ft 11in moncler womens jackets she would be statuesque without shoes; in the strappy silver sandals she is wearing right now, she is Amazonian, striking playful poses for the camera.
When we sit down cheap moncler jackets mens later to chat, Cox, now dressed casually in head to toe black, is warm, engaged and open. She is polished and poised, but also endearingly humble. She creditsOrange Is the New Black, the third seriesof which launches this week, with transforming her fortunes. «It’s been incredible to have one show change your life so completely,» she says. «I was just on the cover of Variety magazine, I won a daytime Emmy award last month [for her documentary about transgender youth,The T Word], I won a SAG award. A former fireman who transitioned moncler uk outlet to being a woman with the support of her wife (though, painfully, not their young son) but was jailed for the credit card fraud she committed to fund it, Sophia’s story was explored in season one in an episode directed moncler sale outlet by Jodie Foster.
«When I got the script, I said to my brother, ‘This is the moment that I’ve been waiting for my entire career.'» She pauses, and wells up. «Sorry, I’m getting a bit emotional right now.»
As it turned out, her twin brother,the musician and artist M Lamar,became involved too, playing the pre transition Sophia. (The term «transition» refers to social and emotional changes, as well as physical ones involving hormones and in some instances surgery.) «We went through an eight hour hair and make up process to come up with Sophia’s looks through her transition, but Jodie Foster didn’t think I was butch enough to do it myself,» Cox recalls, with cheap moncler jackets womens a small cheap moncler coats mens smile.
Cox and her brother, real name Reginald, grew up in Mobile, Alabama, where their mother, a single parent, worked three jobs to support them. «She became a teacher eventually, and wanted my brother and me to be a lawyer and a doctor.» While Cox was a straight A student, school was far from moncler outlet a happy place by her own admission she had no friends, and was beaten up and chased home every day by bullies. «I was really feminine and I couldn’t help it; I was a girl, but I was assigned male at birth,» she says, using the terminologycommon among trans people today.
Her awareness of her true gender is something Cox recalls discovering. «As a child I knew everyone was telling me that I was a boy but cheap moncler jackets I felt like a girl. «I associated [wearing a dress and wanting to be a girl] with being some sort of degenerate. So it was something I started to push down.»
For Cox the saving grace was dance. She began pestering her mother for classes from the age of five, but there was no spare money. When she turned eight, her mother finally found a free arts programme for low income families. «Suddenly I had this creative outlet, I had something that I loved, and something that I could aspire to,» Cox says. «When I think about my childhood and being happy, it was when I was dancing, being moncler usa creative, performing and moncler outlet store being on stage.» Even today moncler sale her favourite way to relax is karaoke; cheapmoncler she sings me a few bars of her tune of choice, The Phantom of the Opera.
By 11 Cox was beginning to hit puberty and was strongly attracted to boys, but was told in church that this was a sin. She took a atacand plus. bottle of pills from the medicine cabinet at home and swallowed the lot in a uk moncler outlet suicide attempt. «But I just went to sleep and woke up with a terrible stomach ache, and no one ever knew,» she says. Even her mother learnt the truth only six years ago, when Lavernemade a video for «I’m From Driftwood»,an archive of stories from LGBT people.
Cox’s case is far from isolated; studies show thatmore than half of transgender people attempt suicidebefore their 20th birthday. Last December the suicide of Leelah Alcorn, a 17 year old from Ohio who identified as female, ignited discussion about the treatment of transgender teens in the US.
Meanwhile, in the UK, therehas been recent debate about the potential benefits of using hormone blockersto «pause» puberty in transgender young people, delaying the development of secondary sexual characteristics such as a deeper voice and body hair, which once developed are difficult to reverse, and giving the children and families cheap moncler sale time to discuss and accept their identity before they transition. It is something that Cox is firmly in favour of.
«Puberty was awful, terrible and painful,» she says. «With transition, the earlier the better. When I see moncler outlet woodbury trans kids now who are transitioning, at five or six years old, I’m really jealous. My life would have been so much easier if I had not had to deal with getting those secondary sex characteristics that happen during puberty.»
Timeline: The fight for transgender rights around the world
This may seem controversial. «I’ve known people who’ve had hormones and surgeries and then decided to go back and live as the gender they were assigned at birth, so it is always reversible,» Cox says. moncler sale online «I was still being bullied, even at an arts school, but I also became more comfortable with myself,» she says. After school she moved to New York to study drama and dance, and hung out on the club scene, where her being and looking non mainstream was a virtue. «It was the first time I felt celebrated for who I moncler online store was,» she has said. «I was uk moncler sale still getting harassed on the streets for how I looked, but at night I was a star.».