LaVerne Cox is First Openly Trans Woman to Get an Emmy Nod Ever

Laverne CoxThursday’s Emmy nominations were exciting for many reasons. But, one of the most notable reasons is Laverne Cox, transgender actress who plays a transgender inmate, Sophia Burset, on the hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black, became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy award ever. In this moment, she is making history.

Cox certainly deserves the nod as her portrayal of Sophia has been one of the most engrossing storylines in the two seasons of Orange. Her character deals with coming out as trans after being in a cisgendered heterosexual marriage and fathering a child. The isolation her character feels after coming out is painful and heart-wrenching. She delivers it with poise, grace, and authenticity.

One of the greatest things about Cox’ nomination is what it will mean to trans youth of color who struggle to see themselves represented in the media. Her visibility underscores the fact that all people are capable, talented, and able to achieve their goals no matter the societal barriers and obstacles placed before them.

Cox acknowledges that with the sweet of being nominated, there is still some sour given that her status as a prominent trans woman does not ensure protection for trans people everywhere.

“I was on the cover of Time magazine in June and, that same month, four trans women of color were murdered in the United States. So just because I got an Emmy nomination doesn’t mean the lives of trans people aren’t in peril every day.”

Cox’ sentiment is sad but true. Trans women continue to be targeted in hate crimes and are disproportionately represented among LGBTQ homicides. Trans women of color are even more likely to be victims of assault or homicide. So, while she can revel in her immense successes, she is grounded by the fact that there is still much more to be done to protect the trans community.

When asked how she felt about the nomination, Cox said, “I’m just really proud of who I am. I love myself today – and I don’t everyday. It’s something I have to work at. My career and my life changed when I started accepting and embracing myself more. I hope this inspires my other black, trans folks to pursue their dreams, too.”

Her sentiment of self-love is the bedrock of self-worth. She is walking, breathing proof that believing in one’s self can only lead to immense personal success.worthSignature