Actor Laverne Cox Claims to Be Victim of Transphobic Attack in L.A.: The Guy Was Hitting My Friend

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 22: Laverne Cox speaks onstage at the 13th Annual Outfest Legacy Awards at Vibiana on October 22, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Outfest)
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Outfest

Transgender actor Laverne Cox detailed an attack in which the Orange Is the New Black star’s friend was apparently beaten by a man who “very aggressively asked for the time” in Los Angeles.

“The guy was hitting my friend,” said Cox, who explained in a ten-minute Instagram video what had allegedly happened while the actor and a friend went for a walk in Griffith Park. “We passed this guy, and the guy very aggressively asked for the time,” said Cox, describing the lead-up to the fight between the stranger and the actor’s friend.

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“The friend that I’m with looks at his watch and tells him the time, and then the guy who asked for the time says to my friend, ‘Guy or girl?'” said Cox. “My friend says, ‘Fuck off.'”

After that brief exchange, Cox’s friend and the stranger proceed to fight, according to Cox.

“All of the sudden, the guy is attacking my friend, and I look back — and the guy is, like, hitting my friend, and then my friend is, like, going towards him, and I’m, like, ‘holy shit,’ and I pull out my phone, and I call 911 — to dial 911, and all of the sudden it’s over,” said Cox. “And the guy is gone, and so I put my phone away, and then I’m like, what just happened? It just happened really quickly.”

“It’s not safe in the world,” Cox affirmed. “And I don’t like to think about that a lot, but it’s the truth. It’s the truth and it’s not safe if you’re a trans person. Obviously, I know this well. It’s just really sad.”

“What my friend thinks is that the guy really wanted me to answer so he could, like, you know, spook whether, like, you know, I’m trans or not,” said Cox. “Definitely in shock, definitely triggered,” said Cox, who added that this type of incident has “happened a lot.”

“I mean, it doesn’t always come to blows,” the actor elaborated. “It doesn’t always get physical, but yeah — I’ve had a long history of street harassment in New York, sort of being clocked or spooked, and, you know, sort of called out on the street or whatever. And I just can’t believe that, like, it got physical. I guess I can believe it.”

The Charlie’s Angels actor hadn’t been leaving the house in general due to the coronavirus pandemic, and said “I’m gonna stay inside now, I’m really not going to go out now. Living in fear is, like, not a good thing. It doesn’t matter who you are, you can be, like, Laverne Cox — if you’re trans, you’re gonna experience stuff like this.”

Cox concluded the 10-minute video by stating that it’s important to remember “it’s not your fault” if other people attack you because they don’t want you to “exist in the world” due to being transgender.

“I think it’s important for me to remind myself, and remind you that when these things happen, it’s not your fault,” said Cox. “It’s not your fault that there are people who are not cool with you existing in the world.”

Cox’s received support from many celebrities who commented on the video.

Actress Jamie Chung was among the celebrities who commented, writing: “I’m sorry you and your friend were attacked. This is infuriating. I hope he was reported and you gave them his description.”

Cox did not specify whether or not 911 was called and if there was a police report filed.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.


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