On August 13, Los Angeles hosted the Beautycon Festival, an annual event dedicated to celebrating empowerment and beauty in all of its diverse forms. Invited to speak was actress Laverne Cox, who according to Pret-a-Reporter, delivered a powerful speech about trans rights, which she says are “being threatened” by President Trump’s administration.
Speaking with fashion expert Joe Zee, Cox emphasized the importance for trans individuals and allies to stand up for trans rights, especially under the current administration (which has proposed a controversial trans military ban and revoked many of President Obama’s protections for trans students at public schools). The Orange is the New Black star specifically pointed to the power of social media, which gives the LGBTQ community a platform to advocate for themselves. She explained,
“We’re in survival mode now, because so many basic rights we’ve fought for for a really long time are being threatened. Trans people are being murdered disproportionately to other populations…I could go on and on. The shift that’s happened in the past few years is that trans people are more visible; because of social media, more of our voices are elevated, so we’re able to talk back in a way that we have not been able to before.”
View on Instagram
While she calls herself an actress “first and foremost,” Cox says she hopes to begin working behind the scenes to advocate further for trans rights — a move she thinks will help to rectify some of the “misinformation” born out of how trans individuals are often portrayed in the media.
Cox concluded her powerful speech by offering a bit of wisdom for others who’ve been mistreated because of their differences.
“I learned a long time ago that I wasn’t going to get anywhere trying to be nothing I’m not,” she said. “I’m obviously a trans person; I have a deep voice, wide shoulders, big hands and big feet. I’m not beautiful despite those things; I’m beautiful because of them…If you can empower those parts of yourself that people make fun of, no one can touch you.”
Head to Beautycon’s website for more information about the annual festival, and check out our “Dispelling Beauty Myths” series for more proof that beauty isn’t about what makes us the same –but about the things that make us different.
More on trans rights:
- LGBTQ Crisis Hotline Reports Increased Calls After Trump’s Transgender Military Ban
- Celebrity Hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons Starts Beauty Program for Trans Community
- Trans Activist Charlie Craggs Is Giving Away Free Manicures to Combat Transphobia