'Orange Is The New Black's' Laverne Cox and transgender movement honored in Time
An unlikely icon of sorts, Cox has become a public leader in the trans movement and frequently tours the country speaking about equal rights in her stump speech called "Ain't I A Women."
Cox said she first realized she was different at an early age, "My third grade teacher called my mom and said, 'Your son is going to end up in New Orleans wearing a dress.' Up until that point I just thought that I was a girl and that there was no difference between girls and boys. I think in my imagination I thought that I would hit puberty and I would start turning into a girl."
The actress tells Time she is grateful kids today have more resources to seek help and acceptance, "There's a way to connect through the Internet that I didn't have. So you can connect with people who are like you, who may be in another part of the country. That didn't exist when I was a kid. I think there are more media representations that young trans people can look to and say, that's me, in an affirming way. There's just so many resources out there now that it makes you feel like you're less alone."
More than anything Cox wants people to open their minds, she says " If someone needs to express their gender in a way that is different, that is okay, and they should not be denied healthcare. They should not be bullied. They don't deserve to be victims of violence. ... That's what people need to understand, that it's okay and that if you are uncomfortable with it, then you need to look at yourself."
We can't wait to see what Cox has in store for us when "OITNB" Season 2 hits Netflix June 6.