Laverne Cox, who plays Sophia Burset on Netflix’s hit Orange is the New Black, was a speaker at the National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change in Houston, and delivered a powerful love message, Instinct Magazine reports.
Creating Change is a five-day event organized by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force that includes workshops, caucus sessions, and film screenings.
Cox, a transgender woman, was moved to tears by the welcome when she took the stage on January 30.
“You’re going to make me cry. This feels so amazing, all this love that you’re giving me tonight. I have to say that a black, transgender woman from a working-class background raised by a single mother… getting all this love tonight – this feels like the change I need to see more of in this country,” she said.
To her, the simple act of receiving love can be a new experience for trans people.
“Some days I wake up and I’m that kid in Mobile, Alabama who’s being bullied… Some days I wake up and I’m that sixth-grader who swallowed a bottle of pills because I did not want to be myself anymore, because I did not know how to be anybody else, and who I was told was a sin, was a problem… Some days I wake up and I am that black trans woman walking the streets of New York City, hearing people yell ‘that’s a man!’ to me. And I understand… that when a trans woman is called a man, that is an act of violence,” she revealed.
She also spoke about the challenges and injustices trans people go through in today’s society, declaring: “There will be justice”.
Finally, she said that the LGBT community needs to embrace and love each other, and reach out across their differences.
“Loving a trans person, I believe, is a revolutionary act,” the actress said.
Watch Laverne’s full speech right here:
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