... the other Black experience

FEATURE: Laverne Cox on Time Magazine Cover - A Big Deal For Trans Visibility

Did you catch trans actress Laverne Cox on the cover of TIME Magazine? This will give even more visibility to the trans community. "I don't represent the entirety of the trans community, there are multiple relationships to one's identity", says Cox in a making-of video (watch below).
Of course this is not enough and there are many more stories that need to be told. But it's a step towards more visibility and hopefully more acceptance.
Cox adds: "When we look at the discrimination that trans people face, there tends to be intersections of race and class". Let's celebrate the fact that an African-American trans woman gets to share her story and bring attention to issues faced by the trans community.

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Comment by Revolutionary Angel on June 9, 2014 at 6:54pm

DA Ballinger.

I gotta say that I was just as angry as you were when I first started seeing billboards for OITNB. I thought "What! Prison is never fashionable! Especially not for Black women who certainly would not be able to leave their prison stint with an HBO television series deal!" Really I wanted to paintball every billboard that I saw. Especially since the black women all looked a little deranged.

When the show kept on getting rave reviews and my friends of many different races commented so frequently on the quality of the writing and awesome characters, I had to break down and watch. and... my mind was blown, not only by the unique blend of complex characters but that no where else on tv is there such a strong and diverse woman driven ensemble. The women playing these roles are not only tremendous actors but they are getting some much deserved airtime on TV and I say go. Unfortunate yes that it's a show about prison but the awful truth is that many of our sisters are there right now and anything that humanizes them in thoughtful ways I think is great.

Piper Kerman, the white woman who went to jail and came out with a bestseller now has a website that has resources for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and sales off the site go to orgs that work for incarcerated communities and their loved ones.

OITNB surprised me. Try it out. Feels good not to be angry and chose injury.

Peace Out!


Comment by TonyaWithaPen on June 3, 2014 at 9:18pm

Laverne Cox on the cover is great, but the story she is featured in is pretty good too. Just got the new issue of TIME today and Cox is featured with other trans men and women from various backgrounds. 

Comment by BlvkNerd on June 3, 2014 at 8:52pm

It is empowering to see her, her past tribulations and uplifting stories as a trans woman, as a woman. I find it fascinating, and look forward to seeing her on OITNB, go girl!! I support you!

Comment by Jordana on May 30, 2014 at 11:33pm

@Da Ballinger - The title of the show refers to the orange prison uniforms. It's a fashion reference because fashion in black is considered timeless/classic/chic. 

So when talking about a new fashion trend as far as shade you'll often here "(insert color) is the new black". 

So orange is the new black is kind of a humorous title in that context.

Cox adds: "When we look at the discrimination that trans people face, there tends to be intersections of race and class". 


Growing up as a trans person of color is something which makes one acutely aware of these divides and intersections. It is great that there are more role models of all types for transgender youth today as well.

I am very happy with the progress that is being made in this country but there is still a long way to go. especially in certain areas of the country. 

During the height of my music career I used to volunteer for a trans health hotline in Philadelphia and one of the consistent things from people is that they just want to live a happy, normal life. 

That's all anyone wants really.

The closer we get to the day when ones gender identity is of no more consequence to anyone than their hair color the better.

I applaud Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Monica Roberts and other sisters who have brought issues affecting not just trans people of color but all trans people to the forefront over the last decade.

Through education comes understanding, through understanding comes progress.

I was fortunate to have musical talent to help me achieve my dreams. Many trans girls of color are not as fortunate and I've done what I can to highlight this where possible to educate others.

This is a worldwide struggle because trans people are catching hell all over the world for nothing more than who they are. 

There is no civil right more personal or profound than the right to self determination of one's identity in the world. Indeed it is beyond a civil right. It is a HUMAN right.

The right to define ourselves and protect that right is of utmost relevance when talking about civil rights.  It is the common thread of self-determination which runs from the current transgender human rights movent  through past movements against social injustice going back over a century. 

The arrow of history and time only points in one direction. 

Comment by Phredrixxx on May 30, 2014 at 2:42pm

DA Ballinger - That is not correct. __ is the new black is a snowclone. A very commonly used phrase. Nothing to do with the 'black race'.

Comment by D A Ballinger on May 30, 2014 at 1:59pm

The Most Racist Show Title on T V !!! I don't watch TV anymore because it's doesn't produce anything but trash now a days, sex and violence sells, so that's all they do, especially when it comes to the BLACK RACE.  So, I just got wind of this show called  “Orange Is the New Black”.  Does anyone other than me have a problem with this title?  You may as well call it, " Only Blacks are Criminals" or "When you see orange, think of Blacks Behind Bars"  or "Orange, Bars and Blacks". Do I need to go on? This s a travesty to the Black race. This show should but Boycotted till they take it off the air or change the damn name. How dare they equate Orange Prison garb to my race of people, how dare you!!! I submit that everyone from the producers to the writers of this show are Racist, they all signed off on it and they knew exactly what they were doing. I can see them, laughing their ass's off while they were doing it.  People of color unite and send them a message that they ill never forget. "We are sick and tired of being connected and used for their social platforms, under the mask of intolerance" FOOD FOR THOUGHT!!! 


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