parry ernsberger
July 31, 2013 10:00 am

If you haven’t been watching Orange Is The New Black (which, if you haven’t, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?), let me give you a quick primer on Sophia Burset. one of the many female powerhouse players on the show: Sophia is a transgender, born-male firefighter who’s in the big house for credit card fraud. Longing to ease the financial strain of her transformation, Sophia stole credit card information from the burnt-down houses she once worked to put out. Sophia has an adolescent son and remains married to her wife, who is fully aware of her gender-changing intentions, but (spoiler) begins seeing another man while Sophia is still incarcerated.

The actress who plays Sophia (Laverne Cox) is no stranger to #transproblems. She’s been acting for over a decade and is/has been, IRL, a transgender woman of color — just like Sophia. (Fun fact: In the scenes depicting a pre-transition Sophia, Cox’s twin brother plays her male counterpart.) Laverne, who got her on-screen start in reality t.v. (VH1’s I Want to Work for Diddy and TRANSform Me) has suddenly become an accidental, pop culture role model for the trans community in Hollywood — which doesn’t necessarily mean that any of her insecurities have been eliminated.

And guess what? Dating doesn’t come any easier now either, she says. In fact, it’s been made more difficult by her public persona. But Laverne is authentic in her skin and she’s doing big thangs out there — for men, for women, for men wanting to be women. And most importantly, she’s “good with herself,” no matter how she’s perceived.

We like you just the way you are, Laverne.

Check out the full interview (which is totally worth the read and gives some awesome insight into an incredible woman) here

Featured image via Shutterstock

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