Actress Laverne Cox was the victim of a transphobia-fueled attack while out with a friend over this past weekend.
“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 Orange is the New Black star said in an Instagram Live video she published yesterday.
Cox said that she went to Griffith Park in Los Angeles for a walk with a male friend and was wearing a facemask, a hoodie, and yoga pants.
“We passed this guy, and the guy very aggressively asked for the time,” Cox said.
Her friend told the man the time and the man asked, “Guy or girl?”
“My friend says ‘Fuck off,’ I’m walking, I’m hearing all of this and it’s happening in like a split second, and then all of a sudden the guy is attacking my friend,” Cox said.
She said that she looked back and was surprised and didn’t know what was happening as the alleged assailant attacked her friend.
“I’m like, hoooooly shit,” she said. She called 911 and by the time she got her phone out and dialed, the man was gone.
She said that neither she nor her friend was injured in the incident.
“This dude was looking for trouble… because I happened to be a trans person in public,” she said, explaining that she has been harassed before in the street but said that it usually doesn’t turn violent.
She believes that the man asked her for the time because he wanted to hear her voice to tell if she is trans or cis and then got angry when she didn’t answer.
“I don’t know why it matters,” she said. “At the end of the day, it’s like, who cares? I’m in a hoodie and yoga pants, completely covered up, I’ve got my mask on. Who cares if I’m trans? Why does this affect your life?”
“It doesn’t matter who you are, you can be Laverne Cox – whatever that means – if you’re trans, you’re going to experience stuff like this.”