Laverne Cox Honored For Moving Equality Forward, Stuns Crowd With Story Of Trans Friend’s Arrest

coxTrailblazing 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.

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  • Cam

    Love her in the show.

  • Black Pegasus

    I occasionally watch an episode of orange is the new black on Netflix when I have time. The scenes involving Lavern Cox’s character are always interesting. I wish the rest of the show was more hard hitting and realistic. I can’t stand the lead character on that series.

  • Cam

    @Black Pegasus:

    But gee, how were the producers supposed to get any interest from Hollywood without a rich white lady star? You know, somebody who committed a crime but really shouldn’t be in prison because….you know…she isn’t “One of THEM”

    I wish I were being sarcastic, but I’m guessing that that is pretty much what happened.

  • Tackle

    Good to Laverne Cox that she got the award, And it’s great hearing that GLAAD has been doin work over the past year making sure
    that the T is not silent in the LGBT ccommunity. Hopefully GLAAD will work just as hard to make sure the Q is not silent either.

  • jayj150

    Is she post operative?. She does look and sound a bit masculine, I gotta say.

  • jayj150

    I wonder if Queerty will be reporting on the January arrest of noted Transgender activist Dana McCallum(now that the media blackout has finally been broken) charged with multiple felonies, including 3 counts of rape. You might remember McCallum as the senior Twitter engineer who has been an outspoken anti-woman activist, referring to feminists as “wackos”, and participating in the transgender “#Fuck Cis People” Twitter campaign. Interesting that because McCallum, who has a male body including male genitalia, is attracted to women, at least one media outlet has run the headline “Lesbian Twitter Engineer Charged With Raping Wife”.

  • Thedrdonna

    @jayj150: Dana Mccallum is a trans lesbian feminist. She has advocated for women’s right and for trans folks’ rights. She didn’t describe feminists as a class as wackos, but rather TERFs. Nice lifted quotes from gender trender, BTW. Really marks you as a TERF yourself. That, at least, explains your ongoing war against trans people and, in the process, truth as well. Mrs. Mccallum stands accused, and if she is guilty then I will gladly admit that she is a terrible person. But! That’s all to the side, it doesn’t mean anything in particular about trans people in general, regardless of how much you want to pretend that all people of a certain class are the same.

    I’m not even going to ask how you know what her surgical status is.

  • DarkZephyr

    @Cam: Isn’t Piper Kerman, the real life woman that the show’s lead is based on and the author of the book a white woman?

  • bottom72


    why are her genitals any of your business?

  • feminist

    Under California law, rape requires penetration by a penis. Since Dana M. has been charged with rape, that indicates that the act was done with a penis.

    Why should we care? Well, you should read the comments at the SFGate. Most of the commenters thought this related to gay marriage, as the article represented Dana M. as a woman and didn’t mention transgender. So, when a transwoman is represented as a woman raping a woman, this causes regular, uninformed people to think, look at what those lesbians do when they’re allowed to get married.

    Fellow gays, let’s think about who we’re protecting. Dana M. is a faux lesbian, and shouldn’t represent real gays/lesbians/women. I support people in living the way they want to live, that’s a private matter, but when a mainstream liberal site like SFGate censors the trans aspect of a story, that’s flat out dishonest, and that’s why we need to discuss the penis on this fake woman.

  • jayj150

    @feminist: Exactly. Had the transgender been the victim, there’s no way they would have identified her as simply a woman, or a lesbian, but because the transgender is the one being accused of rape(among other charges) then apparently that fact is irrelevant, and they prefer to refer to her as a lesbian. And it doesn’t matter transsexuals’ obsession and delusion in trying to convince the world genitals are irrelevant; when it comes to RAPE, GENITALS MATTER.

    We are letting a man get away with rape in the public eye, and putting the blame on our lesbian sisters, when in fact the only real lesbian in the story was the victim. That’s disgraceful.

  • SoThenWhatHappened

    Mr. MacCallum is not a lesbian. Mr. MacCallum is an autogynophile run amuck after his male privilege to put his “lady stick” into actual women was denied to him.

  • Thedrdonna

    Lotta haters here. At least you aren’t trying to hide your transphobic TERF nature. And, of course, you can tell who the bigots are by the fact that they’re trying to paint an entire class of people based on the actions of a very small minority. Juuuust like social conservatives try to portray gay folks as pedophiles because of a few well-publicized cases.

  • sweetbrandigirl2004

    @feminist: I wonder would your opinion be any different had the person charged with rape have been a Post-Op Transsexual Lesbian or are you one of those Transsexual hating feminist who just hates anyone who was born female ?

  • jayj150

    @Thedrdonna: I’m a bisexual man; I have no idea what ‘terf’ means. Transsexualism is homophobic, misogynistic in nature. Unlike homosexuality/bisexuality, it IS a disease and also unlike homo/bisexuality it NEEDS FIXING: hormones, therapists, implants, surgery. If you need to have a lifelong of painful treatments to be yourself, it is NOT natural. Unlike transgenderism, you don’t need to change anything about yourself to be gay/lesbian/bisexual, you don’t need to be fixed and you can see it happening all the time in nature. There’s no place for the ‘T’ next to LGB, our priorities are not only different, they are opposed: we want nothing but ACCEPTANCE for who we ARE, whereas you want people to CHANGE to conform to anti-gay/anti-women patriarchal norms. But although I am convinced beyond doubt it is a fetish for most, and for others simply their way to channel their internalized homophobia, I am respectful of people identifying as they please. Transsexuals/transgenders need to fight their own fights and leave us alone; if some of you also identify as LGB you are already covered under those letters.

  • Thedrdonna

    @jayj150: Yes, nobody is contesting that there are differences between the trans experience and the LGB experience. How is being trans misogynistic or homophobic? Nobody has ever been able to answer that in a way that doesn’t pretend that most transitioned people aren’t LGB. Which is what’s been found by most surveys (~70% of post-transition trans folks are LGB).

    And, I’m gonna call BS on your revisionist “I am respectful of people identifying as they please”: here’s a few choice quotes:
    “We are letting a man get away with rape” -misgendering a person who has been accused of rape.
    “I will never see a transsexual person as a sex other than the one they were born with.”

    And, TERF Is an acronym denoting “trans-exclusionary radical feminist”. They’re the folks who run Gender Trender, the site you’re lifting whole passages from, and they believe that people should only be classified based on their sex at birth. They are vitriolic, hateful, and oftentimes actually dangerous when they out trans people. They make lots of claims about “protecting women”, but their efforts at protection amount to little more than an ongoing campaign of harassment of trans folks, alongside efforts to prevent legal changes that safeguard trans folks.

  • SoThenWhatHappened

    @Thedrdonna: actually as anyone who was read “TERF” webistes can tell you they are VERY, VERY good at documenting the many, many case of transgenders being “vitriolic, hateful, and oftentimes actually dangerous.”

    There is a world of difference between being polite in public/social spheres and referring to F2T or M2T as whatever gender they identify as (as long as it’s not those ridiculous gender-neutral pronouns) when we recognize in our guts the reality of the situation. Lesbians do not want to have sex with M2T because they know in their heart of hearts those are not women. Gay men don’t want to have sex with F2T because we recognize in our heart of hearts that they are not men. A clitoris is not a penis. A penis is not a clitoris. A neo-vagina or neo-penis are not real vaginas or penises!

    It’s sad that that is the reality, but there it is. No amount of surgery makes a man grown up like a girl, let alone a lesbian girl.

    Despite your claims to the contrary, transgenders are reinforcing a gender binary and attempting to eradicate butch girls and femme boys. Often through torturous medical procedures done to children and teenagers.

  • jayj150

    @Thedrdonna: Interesting you are calling feminists ‘vitriolic, hateful and dangerous’ while defending one of the biggest promoters of the #fuckcispeople campaign, who’s now also being accused of being a rapist.

    Another point I was trying to make is if someone is transgender and also identifies as LGB, that still doesn’t justify the inclusion of the ‘T’: if those people are in fact LGB, then they are already included. There are many Asians and many Latinos who are LGB, should we add another L and and A for them?.

    And while we are talking about questions no one has ever been able to answer, please explain exactly what is that whole ‘being trapped in the wrong body’ thing. Exactly, specifically, how does a boy ‘just know’ he is a girl inside?. But please, explain it in specific, operational terms. Not the tired and horribly sexist ‘she always liked girly, pink things’; there are plenty of non-conforming LGB(and non-LGB for that matter) individuals who like things, colors, behaviors not typically associated with their gender, and they don’t choose to rationalize that as saying ‘well of course, I’m really a girl, that explains it’. You ask why I think transgenderism is misogynistic and homophobic, well, it comes to that. Transgenderism forces the idea that if you have certain interests, certain behaviors, certain dislikes, then it’s because you HAVE to be of a certain gender, and if you’re not then nature got it wrong. That goes directly in opposition with what feminism and LGB activism stands for: You can have WHATEVER THE HELL interests you want, that doesn’t make you any less or more of a man or a woman than anyone else. LGB activism, like feminism, supports the idea that you DON’T HAVE TO CHANGE to satisfy societal norms. Whenever you see these children led to believe they are in the wrong body, it’s ALWAYS the same argument of them liking ‘certain color, or certain toys’ as if there were something wrong with boys who like pink and girls who like cars. So again, explain to me the idea of being trapped in the wrong body without using the horribly sexist/homophobic ‘each gender has certain interests’ argument. If we accept any man and woman can have ANY INTEREST, any sexual orientation, any preference(sexual or of any other kind) there’s NO NEED to change your whole person to purse that interest.

  • Thedrdonna

    @SoThenWhatHappened: Name one time when a trans person attempted to inflict “torturous medical procedures” on a child or teenager. Also, TERFs are very good at conflating trans women with crossdressing men, and lying about the lives trans women have to face. Yes, there are those who say or do things that are threatening or actually physically violent toward women, but there’s no evidence that trans people as a class are more likely to commit those crimes. You’re following the bigot’s playbook to a T, so to speak, by trying to act as though people who aren’t related to a minority are, so that you can pin their offenses on the minority, and by using the few legitimate cases to try to say that that behavior is true for all of that minority. You’re a bigot.

  • Thedrdonna

    @jayj150: Way to not answer or respond to a single actual point I made. I assume that’s because you don’t have any reason or logic to back up your hate speech.

    And, btw, there are plenty of trans women who don’t fit the stereotype, but you can keep on believing whatever tripe you’ve picked up from Jerry Springer. I’m a trans woman who loves the color blue, paintballing, and woodworking. I don’t fit gender stereotypes, and I have no interest in doing so, regardless of how much people like you and Sothenthathappened want others to believe differently. Most of the trans people I know, and I’d wager most of the trans folks that people who are actually active in the LGBT community know, are very much aware of stereotypical gender roles, and very much disinterested in filling them. Nice try, but when people actually listen to trans folks they know that bigots like you are lying through your teeth.

  • jayj150

    @Thedrdonna: Nice rant, now answer the question. Explain in specific, clear, operational terms how one is sure a person is ‘trapped in the wrong body’ without using the ‘because she has interests associated with that gender’ argument. I can explain why I’m bisexual: I’m sexually attracted to both men and women. Lesbians are lesbians because they like other women. Gay men are gay because they’re sexually attracted to other men. You are transgender because….?. Because you like to wear dresses?Because you hated your male given name?. Obviously not, right?. Then why?. Specifically, not the vague ‘my mind doesn’t match my body’ nonsense.

  • Thedrdonna

    @jayj150: You literally cannot understand it. There isn’t a way to describe the dissonance between mind and body to someone who doesn’t feel it, and more than I could explain a noise I can hear to someone who can’t, and never has, heard it. However, the fact that I can’t describe my experience to you in a way that makes sense to you doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I don’t see what’s attractive about men, but that doesn’t mean that gay men, straight women, and no folks don’t exist. Now how about you answer any of my questions, or respond to any of my statements that show how wrong you are about basically every other thing you’ve said?

  • Thedrdonna

    “Bi folks”, not “no folks”. Autocorrect strikes again.

  • jayj150

    @Thedrdonna: That’s a flawed analogy. Just because different people have different sexual orientations it doesn’t mean sexual orientation doesn’t exist. But no one says they have ‘the wrong sexual orientation’ and try to change it. Well, actually some people do, the so-called ‘conversion therapists’ and their supporters.

  • Thedrdonna

    @jayj150: It is limited, but that doesn’t mean it’s false. You couldn’t explain to me what makes men attractive, in a way that makes sense to me, because that’s not my experience. There isn’t anyone who is capable of understanding every aspect of the human experience, we are by nature limited to our own identities. You don’t understand what it’s like to be trans, and that’s not an issue. Being cis is every bit as valid as being trans, nobody is better or worse due to their gender identity. But your inability to understand the trans experience doesn’t negate its existence. Now would you care to respond to any of the other things I’ve said, or are you going to continue to pretend I haven’t shown all your arguments to be false and motivated by anti-trans bias?

  • jayj150

    @Thedrdonna: It’s not about my inability to understand it, it’s about your inability (or anyone’s inability) to explain it. When you can’t use the sexist and homophobic ‘each gender has certain roles and interests’ argument you are completely left without anything to say. Please try, enlighten me. And I’m not even being sarcastic, I would genuinely like to know. I would love to be convinced that transpeople are not just trying to rationalize either internalized homophobia, or a fetish. So please try. Explain to me how we can know someone, specially a child, is trapped in the wrong body without using the certain gender/certain roles explanation.

  • Thedrdonna

    I’ve explained already. It’s not my fault that you don’t want to listen.

    Way to ignore the rest of what I’ve said.

  • vklortho

    Being trans is a matter of physical dysphoria concerning your primary and/or secondary sexual characteristics. Being trans is not a matter of disliking assigned gender roles or a fetish or a case of severe internalized homophobia. Regardless any rapist, whether trans or not, needs to be held accountable for what they have done.

  • Black Pegasus

    @Cam: and you may be right sir..lol

  • Zoe Brain


    Explain in specific, clear, operational terms how one is sure a person is ‘trapped in the wrong body’ without using the ‘because she has interests associated with that gender’ argument.

    OK, I’ll try. You need to read two papers, one on neuro-anatomy, the other on the consequences thereof.

    Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation Garcia-Falgueras A, Swaab DF Endocr Dev. 2010;17:22-35
    The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in extreme cases in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.

    Biased-Interaction Theory of Psychosexual Development: “How Does One Know if One is Male or Female?” M.Diamond Sex Roles (2006) 55:589–600

    A theory of gender development is presented that incorporates early biological factors that organize predispositions in temperament and attitudes. With activation of these factors a person interacts in society and comes to identify as male or female. The predispositions establish preferences and aversions the growing child compares with those of others. All individuals compare themselves with others deciding who they are like (same) and with whom are they different. These experiences and interpretations can then be said to determine how one comes to identify as male or female, man or woman. In retrospect, one can say the person has a gendered brain since it is the brain that structures the individual’s basic personality; first with inherent tendencies then with interactions coming from experience.

  • Zoe Brain

    Some more on the subject:

    Male-to-female transsexuals show sex-atypical hypothalamus activation when smelling odorous steroids. by Berglund et al Cerebral Cortex 2008 18(8):1900-1908;

    …the data implicate that transsexuality may be associated with sex-atypical physiological responses in specific hypothalamic circuits, possibly as a consequence of a variant neuronal differentiation.

    Neuroimaging Differences in Spatial Cognition between Men and Male-to-Female Transsexuals Before and During Hormone Therapy</b. by Scoening et al J Sex Med. 2009 Sep 14.

    Conclusions. Our results confirmed previously reported deviances of brain activation patterns in MtoF transsexuals from men without GID and also corroborated these findings in a group of transsexual patients receiving cross-sex hormone therapy. The present study indicates that there are a priori differences between men and transsexual patients caused by different neurobiological processes or task-solving strategies and that these differences remain stable over the course of hormonal treatment.

    There are some sexually dimorphic effects on interests too – you can see this in women with CAH who have partial neural masculinisation – but they still identify as female, it’s not about “interests” so much as emotional response, sense of smell and hearing, instincts, body language, body map and other areas determined neurologically.

    “Prenatal hormones versus postnatal socialization by parents as determinants of male-typical toy play in girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia” Pasterski et al Child Dev 76(1):264-78 2005

    Data show that increased male-typical toy play by girls with CAH cannot be explained by parental encouragement of male-typical toy play. Although parents encourage sex-appropriate behavior, their encouragement appears to be insufficient to override the interest of girls with CAH in cross-sexed toys.

    It’s also apparent in Intersex kids with Cloacal Extrophy – which doesn’t feminise the brain, but leaves them without external genitalia. In the past, almost all have been surgically assigned female, as the surgical reconstruction is much easier, and the theory that the sexes are not neurologically different at birth was commonly believed.

    Discordant Sexual Identity in Some Genetic Males with Cloacal Exstrophy Assigned to Female Sex at Birth by Reiner and Gearhart, N Engl J Med. 2004 January 22; 350(4): 333–341.

    RESULTS Eight of the 14 subjects assigned to female sex declared themselves male during the course of this study, whereas the 2 raised as males remained male. Subjects could be grouped according to their stated sexual identity. Five subjects were living as females; three were living with unclear sexual identity, although two of the three had declared themselves male; and eight were living as males, six of whom had reassigned themselves to male sex. All 16 subjects had moderate-to-marked interests and attitudes that were considered typical of males. Follow-up ranged from 34 to 98 months.
    CONCLUSIONS Routine neonatal assignment of genetic males to female sex because of severe phallic inadequacy can result in unpredictable sexual identification. Clinical interventions in such children should be reexamined in the light of these findings.

  • Zoe Brain

    Just remember – our model of a strict binary of sex is grossly over-simplified.

    There’s no more a “male brain” than a “male height”. Men are indeed taller than women, that’s not controversial, but just because someone’s below average height doesn’t make them female, and there are many women taller than many men. Neurology is just as fuzzy as height.

    Individuals differ, a brain can be closer to a male stereotype in some respects, closer to a female one in others, or somewhere in between. Moreover, some of the brain (not the bits we’re concerned with, to do with gender identity and sexual orientation – ‘reparative therapy’ doesn’t work) are plastic, changing with experience. And nothing is binary, it’s all degrees.

    So sexism is provably BS. But so is the idea that men and women don’t tend to differ in aggregate, and that gender is 100% a social construct. 80% I’ll grant, but not 100%. This falsified ideological belief is used by TERFs and other transphobes to oppress Trans and Intersex people.

    Similarly the idea that gender is 100% biological is also provable nonsense, and a pernicious idea used historically to oppress pretty much everyone, women especially.

  • inbama

    The ugly conflict between the women you call TERFS and trans activists is inevitable.

    One sees gender as roles devised by men to oppress women.

    The other embraces gender as the very thing that defines women.

    The result of these opposed ideologies is that each delegitimizes the “woman-ness” of the other.

    All the ugkiness aside, that is what’s really going on here.

  • Cee

    @jayj150: Does it matter if she is post or pre-op? I would think those getting in between her legs and vice versa should be the only ones concerned, but maybe you need to know what’s between people’s legs in order to feel comfortable.

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