Yesterday, LAVERNE COX, actress and star of the runaway hit series, ‘Orange Is The New Black‘ spoke at the opening ceremony for the ‘Creating Change‘ conference. The conference is being hosted by The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in Houston, Texas.
After being introduced by one of the chairpersons, Laverne Cox walks towards the podium as Beyonce’s ‘Bow Down/Flawless’ plays from the loud speakers. I think that was the perfect song to segway into Laverne Cox’s speech, as she spoke intimately about her struggles as a transgender woman living in this country. She taps into the fact that she is undoubtedly a black, transgender woman. Laverne mentioned that she stems from a working class background where she was raised by her single mother. I enjoyed the speech, for Laverne Cox’s words paint a vivid reality of the obstacles that trans women especially, are forced to jump through, push over and toss aside in order to be respected as human beings, first.
I often read the negative comments that are posted beneath the photos that Amiyah Scott posts via her Instagram page. I see the hatred and ignorance that is written online in the comment sections of videos and blog posts that focus on transgender women. Their daily challenges seem to be a lot tougher and heavier than what I have ever experienced in the 13 years that Ive lived as an out, gay man. It’s very disappointing, quite honestly. One of my closest and dearest friends is a transgender woman who experienced the backlash of the ways in which trans girls were treated in the 80’s and early 90’s. Some of the stories that she has shared with me as it pertains her life directly and those trans women who stood alongside her are quite heartbreaking. Black, transgender women are often even ostracized from the ‘mainstream’ black, gay community. We do not embrace these beautiful creatures beyond the stigmas and stereotypes that society has already placed upon them. It’s 2014, and the effort on part of the LGBT community alone isn’t inclusive of transgender individuals on the street level. The acceptance may be a little more obvious in the upper echelon’s of the LGBT decision making groups. However, amongst the common crowd that exists between day to day tasks, transgender women are still mistreated and marginalized harshly.
Watch and Listen to Laverne’s very moving speech, below…