Trans Actor Laverne Cox Blasts Republicans for ‘Dehumanizing’ Trans Kids, ‘Weaponizing the Culture Wars’

Laverne Cox
Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Transgender actor Laverne Cox attacked the right this month, claiming that conservatives are “dehumanizing” trans kids by working to ban them from competing in sports under their chosen gender.

The Orange Is the New Black star went on the attack in an interview with Variety in one of its June issue Pride Month articles.

Cox spoke out against the many states considering or passing “anti-trans bills” that restrict school athletes to competing only in categories corresponding with their birth gender instead of allowing them to compete as whatever gender assign themselves.

In Cox’s opinion, conservatives don’t want to accept that trans kids are human.

“What they’re trying to do is to dehumanize these children, which is so heartbreaking,” Cox exclaimed. “It’s really heartbreaking when you see the way they’re talking, the fervor with which they’re going after these children. In the face of that, we have to insist on the humanity of everyone. Insist on the humanity of trans people, and particularly the humanity of trans children.

“I think what feels different is how well how coordinated it all is. It’s no accident that 35 states have introduced over 100 bills targeting trans kids and gender-affirming health care for trans youth. They’ve been so organized,” Cox continued.

“A few years ago, they were all about bathrooms. There was a slew of bills as legislators all over the country attacked trans people in the bathroom. We were able to fight back against that with the lived experience and humanity of trans people,” Cox added. “And with all the fearmongering they were doing about bathrooms, people realized that it wasn’t about bathrooms. It was about trying to make trans people not exist.”

Oddly, not a single proposed bill, written bill, or successfully passed law discussed whether trans people do, or even should, “exist.” Instead, the bills pertained to how they might interact with everyone else. Indeed, no proposal anywhere in the nation outlaws student-athletes who claim to be transgender from competing in sports. The proposed rules only say that they must play in categories for their birth gender.

Cox next jumped to another tactic to attack the right and claimed conservatives are also using the discussion to distract from their lack of an economic recovery plan and replace gay marriage as the new way to “fearmonger” over LGBTQ people.

“I think a lot of conservatives were very frustrated when marriage equality became the law of the land, and when that decision came down, they were like, ‘OK, what can we do to fearmonger? What can we do to divide people on cultural issues?'” Cox insisted. “The conservative party doesn’t have an economic message for working-class people, so they are weaponizing cultural wars. They’re talking about Dr. Seuss and transgender children playing sports when there’s still a global pandemic, and people have lost their jobs.”

On the other hand, Cox was not very impressed with the idea of corporate hiring quotas for trans people, either, fearing that being a trans employee would make one a powerless “token” trans worker. Cox insisted that the “whole oppressive corporate system” needed to be torn down and rebuilt.

“Checking all these boxes to maintain the same oppressive systems that are there in place doesn’t necessarily change the material conditions of working-class trans people. We are interested in real liberation. If we’re interested in real justice, this system needs to also change,” the Mindy Project player added.

Last November, Cox claimed to be a victim of a transphobic attack when a man became overly aggressive.

“The guy was hitting my friend,” Cox explained on Instagram in November. “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.

Cox added that this aggressive guy soon began acting violently. Cox noted that this man soon disappeared, so they didn’t call the police.

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