Laverne Cox Was the Target Of a Transphobic Attack in Los Angeles
Laverne Cox took to Instagram Live on November 29th to report that she and a friend had just been physically attacked while on a socially distanced walk in Los Angeles's Griffith Park. Though she noted the police were not called to the scene and that both she and her friend are "fine," the attack was absolutely transphobic and left Cox in shock.
"Something just happened...I'm kind of in shock. I definitely am super triggered," Cox said before recounting what happened. She said she and her friend passed by a man while on their walk who "very aggressively asked for the time."
Cox said the New Yorker in her made her ignore the man but her friend stopped and gave him the time. "And then, the guy...says to my friend, 'guy or girl?' My friend says, 'fuck off.' And all of the sudden the guy is attacking my friend," Cox said, later stating that the man had physically attacked her friend.
"I pull out my phone and I [dial] 911, and all of the sudden it's over," Cox said. "The guy is gone."
Cox said her friend has had friendships and relationships with other trans people in the past and told her, "I've been out with trans people before in public, and that's never happened." But Cox said that incidents like this have happened to her a lot.
"It doesn't always come to blows. It's doesn't always get physical. But...I have a long history of street harassment in New York—of sort of being clocked or spooked."
She said that the entire event at Griffith Park happened so quickly she didn't have time to respond to any of it. "I'm safe. My friend is fine...But it's not safe in the world. I don't like to think about that a lot, but it is the truth. And it's not safe if you're a trans person, obviously. I know this well."
The main conundrum Cox keeps coming back to is: "who cares?" "I'm in a hoodie, and yoga pants—I'm like completely covered up. I've got my mask on. Who cares if I'm trans? Who cares? Why does this affect your life?"
She said this kind of hate crime is always shocking to her, despite how many times she's lived through similar encounters. Cox just can't wrap her head around why someone cares so much about how someone else is living that they choose to incite violence or say hateful words in passing, and neither can we.
We're so grateful the star and her friend are okay, and we realize that so many other trans people and allies have not been so lucky. You can help trans and gender nonconforming people live, thrive, and fight for liberation by checking out and/or donating to the Transgender Law Center.