Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox is scheduled to speak at a couple of college campuses this fall, in an effort to support and raise awareness for the LGBT community. Her groundbreaking character, Sophia Burset, in the Netflix original series catapulted her to super-stardom where her career has no hints of slowing down anytime soon. Laverne’s success has given her a platform to speak about issues facing transgendered people, for which GLAAD has honored her advocacy.
North Carolina Central University will welcome the actress on September 24 to kick off the 2015-2016 Lyceum Series, which, according to the website, brings to campus influencers and “performers to support the intellectual climate and enhance student growth and development.” The series is free to the public.
Macalester College in Minnesota also announced that Laverne will host a discussion titled “Ain’t I a Woman: My Journey to Womanhood.” The event will take place October 13 and tickets will be first available to Macalester students and staff only until October 5. If the event does not sell out, a limited amount of free tickets will be available to the public.
Laverne’s upcoming documentary on CeCe McDonald was filmed in the Twin Cities. CeCe is a Minnesota trans woman who served time in a male prison. She is also who Cox has stated was a source of inspiration for her OITNB character. The doc, titled Free CeCe!, is slated for a 2016 release. Check out the website for more information.
Cox most recently spoke to students during the University at Buffalo’s 2015-16 Distinguished Speakers Series.
As the News Observer notes, Cox is the first transgender actress to be featured on the cover of TIME magazine, which also named her one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2015. She is the first transgender actress to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award, and her advocacy landed her a coveted spot as one of Glamour magazine’s 2014 Women of the Year. The Huffington Post also named Laverne one of the country’s Top 50 Transgender Icons.
Cox gave an impassioned speech last week at the Daily Front Row Fashion Media Awards, Page Six reports, in which she proclaimed “trans is beautiful.”
“Years ago, at the beginning of my transition, I would walk down the street and I would hear people yell, ‘That’s a man,’ and I would be devastated,” Cox said while accepting an award from Maybelline.
“It took me years to internalize that someone could look at me and tell that I am transgender. That is not only OK, that is beautiful. Trans is beautiful.”
Laverne Cox was recently added as a committee host for the Global Citizen Festival starring Beyoncé and Pearl Jam in New York City on September 24. The concert is timed to coincide with the U.N. General Assembly, Philly.com reports.
[Image via Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Logo TV]