Laverne Cox is speaking up about experiencing a disturbing hate crime.
On Sunday, the actress went on Instagram Live to detail an event that left her “in shock” and “super triggered.” While on a socially distanced walk with a friend in Los Angeles’s Griffith Park, the pair were approached by a man who “aggressively” asked for the time.
“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?’ My friend says, ‘F**k off.’”
Laverne, who had kept walking, described the “split second” escalation when “all of a sudden, the guy attacking my friend.” She continued:
“I look back and I’m like… ‘What is happening?’ The guy is like hitting my friend, and then my friend is going toward him and I’m like ‘Holy s**t!’ And I pull out my phone and I call 911 — to dial 911, and all of a sudden it’s over and the guy is gone.”
The Orange Is The New Black star was clearly still processing the event that she said “just happened” right before she got home and began recording the Live. Luckily, her friend was able to “de-escalate” and both were okay after the attack. However, she reflected:
“It’s not safe in the world. 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. Yeah, It’s just really sad.”
In retrospect, she said:
“My friend thinks the guy really wanted me to answer so that he could spook whether I’m trans or not. I don’t know why, I don’t know why it matters. At the end of the day, it’s like, who cares? I’m in a hoodie and yoga pants, I’m like, completely covered up, I’ve got my mask on — who cares if I’m trans? Who cares? How does this affect your life? … This dude was looking for trouble. Looking for trouble because I happen to be a trans person in public.”
Getting emotional, she expressed gratitude for her safety and for her friend protecting her. But she noted:
“It doesn’t matter who you are. You can be Laverne Cox, you know, like, whatever that means. If you’re trans … you’re going to experience stuff like this.”
On why she decided to share the story, she explained:
“I think it’s important for me to remind myself, and remind you, that when these things happen, it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault that people are not cool with you existing in the world. … We have a right to walk in the park.”
What an awful thing to experience, and a sad reminder of what our trans friends continue to endure every day. We all need to work on making this world safer for EVERYONE.
Ch-ch-check out Laverne’s full Live (below):
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