Laverne Cox Reveals She and Friend Were Targeted in Transphobic Attack: 'It Is Not Safe If You're a Trans Person'

Actress Laverne Cox recounted a traumatic experience after she and her friend were victims of a transphobic attack while while at Griffith Park in Los Angeles. Sharing a video to her Instagram Sunday, the Orange Is the New Black star said she was still in shock after a man "aggressively" confronted them asking for the time.

While the two didn't think much of the encounter at first, the man continued asking them, "Guy or girl?" to which her friend responded, "F— off," Cox said. Things then got physical when the man began to fight her friend, prompting Cox to call 911. Things ended as abruptly as they started, and the alleged attacker fled the scene.

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Cox continued that the man was attempting to target her as a trans woman with his questioning before violence broke out. "I don't know why, I don't know why it matters. At the end of the day, it's like who cares?" she asked in the video. "I'm in a hoodie and yoga pants, I'm completely covered up, I've got my mask on. Who cares if I'm trans? How does this affect your life?"

The Emmy-nominated actress said she's been harassed and bullied her whole life as a trans woman. "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," she explained, expressing how thankful she was to walk away from the incident safely, but how devastating experiences like this are for the trans community.

"It doesn't matter who you are. You can be Laverne Cox, you know, or whatever that means. If you're trans, you're going to experience stuff like this. It's not your fault that there are people not cool with you existing in the world. We have a right to walk in the park," she added.

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Cox's encounter came just a week after she honored the Trans Day of Remembrance, which is meant as a day to honor those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia and draw attention to the continued violence against transgender people, especially trans people of color. According to data gathered by Transrespect Versus Transphobia Worldwide, at least 350 transgender and gender-diverse people were murdered between the beginning of October 2019 and the end of September 2020. This total represents a 6% increase in reported murders from that count in 2019. People of color make up 79% of the 28 trans people murdered in the United States.