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‘Orange Is the New Black’ star Laverne Cox says she was victim of transphobic attack

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“Orange is the New Black” star Laverne Cox on Saturday said she and a friend were the victims of transphobic harassment and an assault in Los Angeles’s Griffith Park.

In a video posted to her Instagram account, Cox said that during a socially distanced walk with the friend, a man approached them and 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— off,’ ” Cox said. In response, she said, the man struck her friend several times, fleeing as Cox began calling 911.

Cox speculated that the man had been hoping she would tell him the time and wanted to guess whether she was trans from her voice.

 

“The guy really wanted me to answer so that he could spook whether I’m trans or not,” Cox said. “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 completely covered up, I’ve got my mask on — who cares if I’m trans? How does this affect your life?”

The actress and advocate went on to tell her trans followers that they should not feel any responsibility if they are victims of a similar attack.

“It’s not your fault that people are not cool with you existing in the world,” she said. “We have a right to walk in the park.”

The FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report, released earlier in November, indicated gender identity-based hate crimes increased 20 percent in 2019. Of the incidents the FBI tracked, 175 targeted trans people.

Cox’s recounting of the incident drew support and condolences, including from Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David and Virginia Delegate Danica Roem (D), the state’s first openly trans lawmaker.

Tags attack Danica Roem Laverne Cox LGBTQ rights Transphobia

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