Laverne Cox is one of the most visible and acclaimed trans actresses in Hollywood history, but she still has to put up with transphobic bullshit in public. The star shared as much via Instagram video today, saying she and a friend were attacked in Los Angeles on Saturday while walking in the park by a man who aggressively asked if she was "a guy or a girl." Although the incident turned violent, luckily no one was hurt.
Cox's friend told the man, who had initially approached them asking for the time, to "fuck off," and he subsequently threw punches.
"I pull out my phone and call 911... All of a sudden it's over and the guy is gone," Cox told followers. "I put my phone away and I'm like: 'What just happened?'"
Although she admits she was "in shock," Cox used the terrifying incident as a teaching moment, saying it was not the first time she'd been clocked and harassed in this way, despite the fact she was minding her own business and wearing a mask and androgynous activewear.
"I have a long history of harassment," she said. "It's not safe in the world and I don't like to think about that a lot but it is the truth. It's the truth, you're not safe if you are a trans person. Obviously, I know this well."
She continued: "It doesn't matter who you are. You can be Laverne Cox, you know, or whatever that means. If you're trans, you're going to experience stuff like this."
In a follow up video posted this afternoon, Cox thanked those who had sent "beautiful, loving" messages of support. "It is a beautiful thing to be a Black trans woman and to have happened what happened and to receive all of the love I have received." She also talked about feelings of shame she'd found herself surprised to be feeling in light of the incident. It's worth watching both videos in full to hear her reflections on being trans in public.