Laverne Cox is an American actress, producer and LGBT advocate best known for her role as a transgender prison inmate in the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black.” She is the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy Award for acting and the first to appear on the cover of Time magazine.
This post comes from the folks at Equality Forum, who started LGBT History Month to celebrate the achievements of 31 lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender Icons. Each day in October, a new LGBT Icon is featured with a video, bio, bibliography, downloadable images and other resources available here.
Cox was born a twin in Mobile, Alabama. She was “majorly bullied” as a child for being feminine. Cox begged for dance lessons, which she began in third grade. She went on to earn a BFA in dance from Marymount Manhattan College, where her twin brother, musician M Lamar, pursued visual art. He has also appeared in “Orange Is the New Black,” playing the role of Cox’s character before she transitioned.
Cox is the first trans woman of color to produce and star in her own TV show, the makeover series “TRANSform Me.” She has appeared on VH1’s “Want to Work for Diddy” and on programs such as “Law & Order: SVU” and “Bored to Death.” She plays a supporting role in the 2015 film “Grandma,” starring Lily Tomlin.
Cox has earned numerous awards and honors for her work as well as her activism, including the 2013 Courage Award from the Anti-Violence Project. In 2014—the year her hour-long documentary, “Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word,” aired simultaneously on MTV and Logo—she received a GLAAD Media Award. She was also named Glamour’s Woman of the Year and included on the EBONY Power 100 List.
In 2015 Cox was named to the OUT Power 50 List and as one of People magazine’s Most Beautiful Women. Time magazine included her on its 2015 list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Equality Forum is a national and international LGBT civil rights organization with an educational focus. Equality Forum coordinates LGBT History Month, produces documentary films, undertakes high-impact initiatives and presents the largest annual national and international LGBT civil rights summit. For more information, visit www.equalityforum.com.
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