Laverne Cox , the transgender breakout star of Netflix hit TV series, Orange Is the New Black , recently sat down with theGrio to talk about her path to stardom, her thoughts on homophobia in the Black community, and why she looks up to actress Kerry Washington .
Known as a contestant from season 1 of VH1’s reality show, I Want to Work for Diddy , Laverne now plays prison inmate Sophia Burset in the groundbreaking comedy-drama which has received critical acclaim.
At the most interesting part of her interview, she touches on what it has been like to be both Black and transgender:
“I feel like I’ve gotten amazing support from the [Black] community but also by the same token, most of the street harassment I experience is from other Black people. Right? So it’s a mixed bag. There’s a lot of Blacks folks in my life who’ve been amazingly supportive and I think that there’s this myth that Black folks are somehow more transphobic or more homophobic than everyone else and I don’t think that’s true.
See, I believe that in Black culture we have this legacy of Black men sort of being emasculated, and I think gay Black men and trans women sort of evoke some of that trauma… of Black men being emasculated. And I think that’s a part of the psychological thing that happens to some people, beyond the religious stuff.”