Trailblazing actress Laverne Cox accepted the prestigious the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the GLAAD Media Awards last night in Los Angeles. Newly out Oscar-nominated actress Ellen Page presented the award to the stunning star of Orange is the New Black, whose mother also made a surprise appearance on stage.
While introducing Cox, Page told the audience one of the best things about coming out is the way she’s become enabled to show publicly support for people who have inspired her and give her courage and that one of those people is Cox.
Cox received a standing ovation as she walked to the stage and noted that as an African-American transgender woman from a working class background, she isn’t accustomed to receiving awards.
“I’m so moved by the work that GLAAD has been doing, particularly over the past year, to make sure that the ‘T’ is not silent in the LGBT community,” Cox said. “For years, I was trying to have a career as an actor doing what I love to do most and was told repeatedly that they didn’t know what to do with me, and that I would not work.”
Cox also revealed a shocking story about a transgender friend of hers who was found guilty last week after being arrested in Arizona just for being a trans person of color and walking through a neighborhood under the charge of “manifesting prostitution.”
Watch the speech below. Check back this week for our interview with Cox.