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Laverne Cox on Caitlyn Jenner: 'We Need Diverse Media Representations of Trans Folks'

Laverne Cox on Caitlyn Jenner: 'We Need Diverse Media Representations of Trans Folks'


Laverne Cox took a moment to collect her thoughts on Caitlyn Jenner's reveal. Her response was worth the wait.

Laverne-cox-on-caitlyn-jenner-2-x633_0As responses to Caitlyn Jenner's stunning Monday Vanity Fair cover revealing her new pronouns, name, and look continue to roll in, many eyes and ears have turned to the transgender community's most well-known "cover girl," Laverne Cox.

Today, the Orange is the New Black star celebrated Jenner's moment, but explained why she took some time to articulate a response that goes beyond her initial, "Yasss Gawd! Werk Caitlyn! Get it!"

In a heartfelt Tumblr post, Cox gets real about social messages around beauty standards, and how they're influenced by assumptions about race, class, sexuality, and "acceptable" trans narratives.

"A year ago when my Time magazine cover came out I saw posts from many trans folks saying that I am 'drop dead gorgeous' and that that doesn't represent most trans people. (It was news to be that I am drop dead gorgeous but I'll certainly take it)," she explained.

"But what I think they meant is that in certain lighting, at certain angles I am able to embody certain cisnormative beauty standards. Now, there are many trans folks because of genetics and/or lack of material access who will never be able to embody these standards. More importantly many trans folks don't want to embody them and we shouldn't have to to be seen as ourselves and respected as ourselves."

"I have always been aware that I can never represent all trans people," she continues. "No one or two or three trans people can. This is why we need diverse media representstions of trans folks to multiply trans narratives in the media and depict our beautiful diversities."

Within several hours, tens of thousands of re-posts and responses from Cox's readers have shown she's struck a nerve. Read the rest of Cox's must-see post here to learn what she sees as the next step beyond seeing gorgeous trans women on the covers of national magazines.

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Mitch Kellaway