Laverne Cox has revealed that she and a friend were the target of a horrific transphobic attack.
The actress and LGBTQ+ activist most famous for her role in Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black shared details of the attack in an 11-minute video on IGTV. Cox is clearly affected by the incident which had only just occurred when the video was recorded.
In the clip shared with her 4.4m followers, Cox explains how she was out on a socially distanced walk with a friend in Griffith Park in Los Angeles when a man approached the pair and “aggressively” asked for the time.
After her friend told him the time, the man then proceeded to ask “Guy or girl?," about Cox, to which the friend replied, "F*** off."
According to Cox, the man then began hitting her friend who was thankfully able to defend himself, but that by the time she had pulled her phone out to call the police, the attacker had fled.
She goes on to say how, after the traumatic ordeal, she and her friend theorised that the aggressive man had hoped to target Cox. They believe he’d wanted Cox to answer his question in order to ‘gauge’ whether she was trans. She explained:
"The guy really wanted me to answer so that he could spook whether I'm trans or not," adding, "I don't know why. I don't know why it matters. At the end of the day, it's like who cares? I'm in a hoodie and yoga pants, I'm completely covered up, I've got my mask on. Who cares if I'm trans? How does this affect your life?"
Becoming visibly emotional in parts throughout the video, Cox is appears shocked as she expresses gratitude towards her friend, who’s kept anonymous, for protecting her.
Heartbreakingly, Cox reveals she has been the victim of harassment many times before, simply for being trans, saying:
“I have a long history of street harassment in New York,” adding, “it’s not safe in the world and I don’t like to think about that a lot but it is the truth. It’s the truth and it’s not safe if you’re a trans person.”
News of this horrifying attack shows how far we have to go in achieving true equality for all.