Watch: Transphobic Attack Targets Laverne Cox, Friend

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday November 30, 2020

Watch: Transphobic Attack Targets Laverne Cox, Friend
  (Source:Screencap / Laverne Cox / Instagram)

A man targeted Laverne Cox and her friend with anti-trans hostility and violence in a Los Angeles park, Cox revealed on social media.

Buzzfeed reports that Cox detailed the encounter in a Nov. 29 Instagram Live video, relating how "a man approached her and her friend in the park and 'aggressively' asked what time it was before asking, 'Guy or girl?'."

Saying she was "in shock" and "super triggered," Cox said that a short time earlier she and a friend had been taking a "social distance walk" in L.A.'s Griffith Park. Cox said that with her face mask and hoodie she was "incognito."

"Yeah, I'm just walking through the part, talking to my friend, and then we pass this guy and the guy very aggressively asks for the time."

Cox said her friend replied by telling the man what time it was - at which point, the man "says to my friend, 'Guy or girl?'

"My friend says fuck off," Cox continues, adding, "And then all of a sudden, the guy is attacking my friend, and I look back, and I'm like, 'What is happening?' The guy is, like, hitting my friend, and then my friend is like, going towards him, and I'm like, 'Holy shit.' "

Cox goes on to say that she grabbed her cell phone to call for help, but by then the incident was over "and the guy is gone."

Neither Cox nor her friend was physically hurt, but Cox, visibly shaken, had to pause to collect herself as she told the story. Saying that her friend had been out in public and on dates with trans people before - and specifying that she had not been on a date when the incident took place - Cox went on to add that while her friend said nothing of the sort had happened to him previously, Cox herself has had many similar experiences.

Cox noted that having been trans her entire life, she has faced bullying and aggression on many occasions, and went on to say that such triggering events cause old traumas to resurface: "all of a sudden I could be the eleven-year-old being chased again, or I could be the thirty-year-old being kicked in the street."

"It's happened to me a lot," Cox went on to say. "It's not safe in the world - and I don't like to think about that a lot, but it is the truth. It's the truth, and you're not safe if you're a trans person. Obviously, I know this well."

Cox opined that the man was looking for a response from her, rather than from her friend, but being a New Yorker, she said, she ignores people who speak to her on the street.

"This dude was looking for trouble - looking for trouble because I happen to be a trans person in public," Cox said. "That's all it felt like. I know this; this isn't shocking to me, obviously. This had been my life. I have dealt with this a lot."

"Who cares? How does this affect your life?" Cox pondered. "Why do you need to be aggressive?"

"I guess I'm really very lucky and grateful that my friend was there and wanted to protect me," she added.

Watch the Instagram video below.

NOTE: The Instagram video may be triggering.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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