By Parker Marie Molloy
Originally published on Advocate.com March 25 2014 8:38 AM ET
Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox was named to Paper Magazine's 2014 list of Beautiful People.
Saying, "She's emerging as a mainstream voice for transgender equality in Hollywood," the feature goes on to praise her for the grace and poise displayed during her interview with Katie Couric earlier this year.
Cox calls Couric "courageous" for not editing out the interview segments in which Couric asked invasive questions about her and transgender model Carmen Carrera's genitals. Blowback from the episode sparked a national conversation questioning the proper etiquette for interviewing trans subjects.
GLAAD's transgender media reference guide urges journalists to avoid making the same mistakes as Couric, explaining that "Referring to [gender-confirming surgeries], or using terms such as pre- or post-operative, inaccurately suggests that one must have surgery in order to transition." The guide continues, "Avoid overemphasizing surgery when discussing transgender people or the process of transition."
Just a week after Cox and Carrera's interview with Couric aired, ESPN affiliate Grantland released a longread feature about Essay Anne Vanderbilt, a transgender woman who committed suicide over the course of reporting. The following month, Piers Morgan famously botched an interview with author Janet Mock, finding himself guilty of many of Couric's own faux pas, highlighting the need for continued conversations like the one began by Cox and Carrera.