The ‘Orange Is the New Black’ alum goes on Instagram Live to detail how a man harasses her during a walk in Griffith Park with a male friend, who gets hit by the stranger for defending her.
AceShowbiz –Laverne Cox and her friend have been targeted in a transphobic attack. The actress, who rose to prominence with her role as Sophia Burset on Netflix’s series “Orange Is the New Black“, said she was harassed by a stranger during a walk with a male pal in Griffith Park on Saturday, November 28 which quickly turned physical.
The Emmy-nominated actress turned on her Instagram Live after the incident to detail the attack. “We Were Just Attacked in Griffith Park. We are fine. Be careful out there. #TransIsBeautiful,” she captioned it as she recalled a man “very aggressively” asked for the time in the video. Laverne’s friend told the man what time it was, after which the man asked, “Guy or girl?”
Defending Laverne, her friend told the man to “f**k off.” The man then suddenly hit her friend several times. “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!’ ” she recounted. Laverne said she was dialing 911, but “all of a sudden, it’s over and the guy is gone,” so she didn’t call the police.
Laverne said she was “triggered” by the attack, but assured she and her friend, whom she keeps anonymous, “safe.” After processing the incident, she thinks that the guy “was looking for trouble … because I happened to be a trans person in public.” She added, “The guy really wanted me to answer so that he could spook whether I’m trans or not.”
The 48-year-old said it wasn’t the first time she was harassed because she’s a transgender, but that didn’t stop her from being baffled by people’s reactions to a trans person. “That’s all it felt like. This isn’t shocking to me – obviously, this is my life. I’ve dealt with this a lot, but it never fails to be shocking, I guess… I’ve been trans my whole life, I’ve been harassed and bullied my whole life. None of this is new, but it’s still just kind of like … why do you need to be aggressive?” she shared.
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Reflecting on her experience, she said of how trans people have been treated, “If doesn’t matter who you are. You can be, like, Laverne Cox, whatever that means. If you’re trans, you’re going to experience stuff like this.” She went on lamenting, “It’s just – it’s not safe in the world. I don’t like to think about that a lot, but it is the truth and it is not safe if you’re a trans person.”
The “Charlie’s Angels” actress said she was thankful to have been walking with her friend, who quickly understood he needed to step in to protect her, but then she “started blaming myself.” She said, “We were walking in the park. We weren’t doing anything.”
Laverne concluded the video by encouraging her followers not to blame themselves if something similar happens to them. “I think it’s important to remind myself and remind you that when these things happen, it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault that there are people not cool with you existing in the world,” she said.
Laverne has since received support from her followers and fellow celebrities, with director Lee Daniels writing, “Stay strong beautiful sister.” Kerry Washington commented, “Woman!!!!!!!! Ugh. I am so sorry. Love you.” Jamie Chung added, “I’m sorry you and your friend were attacked. This is infuriating. I hope he was reported and you gave them his description.”
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