Actress and activist Laverne Cox delivered an emotional keynote address at the opening of Creating Change 2014 on Thursday. More than 4,000 LGBT activists and allies have gathered in Houston for the annual conference sponsored by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
The Orange is the New Black star spoke passionately on social justice, equality and the challenges faced by many trans women. "When a trans woman is called a man that is an act of violence," said Cox. "But loving trans people is a revolutionary act."
Watch the amazing speech AFTER THE JUMP ...
Cox is writing a memoir and developing a documentary on the case of CeCe McDonald, the Black transgender woman who was targeted in a racist and transphobic attack in June 2011. McDonald fatally stabbed the man that attacked her and her friends. She plead guilty to second degree manslaughter in June 2012. McDonald was sentenced to 41 months in prison. She was released from prison on January 13.
Numerous studies have shown that Black and Latina trans women are at the greatest risk of violence and the murders of Black transgender women often remain unsolved. Black trans women face "extreme discrimination and poverty", and are more than likely to experience violence, physical or sexual abuse, police brutality, HIV/AIDS and bullying, according to a first of its kind survey conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Black Justice Coalition.
Laverne Cox co-stars in the GLAAD Media Award-nominated Netflix series Orange is the New Black and the GLAAD Media Award nominated film Musical Chairs. Love, love, love her work.