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Photo by Colin Douglas Gray for MTV

Laverne Cox












What makes Laverne Cox a Global Shaker?

Laverne Cox is an American actress and LGBTQ+ advocate. She is most widely known for her history-making role as Sophia Burset in popular Netflix show Orange Is the New Black. For the role, she became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in any acting category. She is also the first openly transgender person to appear on the cover of Time Magazine and to have a waxwork in Madame Tussauds.

In 2015, she won a Daytime Emmy Award in Outstanding Special Class as executive producer for Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word, making her the first openly transgender woman to win the award. In 2017, she became the first transgender person to play a transgender series regular on broadcast TV as Cameron Wirth on CBS’s Doubt.

Cox is praised by her LGBT family, and many others, for being a trailblazer for the transgender community, and has won numerous awards for her activist approach in spreading awareness. Her impact and prominence in the media has led to a growing conversation about transgender culture, notably transgender women, and how being transgender intersects with one’s race.

“I think trans women, and trans people in general, show everyone that you can define what it means to be a man or woman on your own terms. A lot of what feminism is about is moving outside of roles and moving outside of expectations of who and what you’re supposed to be to live a more authentic life.”

In May 2016, Cox was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from The New School in New York City for her progressive work in the fight for gender equality.

Tags: Activism, LGBTQ+, TV

Last updated: March 31, 2020