The LGBT activist and actress talks about how she found beauty in herself when it seemed the world wouldn’t accept her
Whether she’s backing up Caitlyn Jenner, playing trans roles on screen or running her own trans awareness and acceptance hashtag #transisbeautiful – Laverne Cox is hands down one of the most inspiring figures for the LGBT community. So after a year of running her hashtag movement, which now comes close to 25,000 posts, it definitely comes as no surprise that the Orange Is The New Black star was awarded Maybelline New York’s "Make It Happen Award" at this year’s Fashion Media Awards.
In her moving acceptance speech she talked about how the hashtag started, explaining: "I started a hashtag earlier this year called #transisbeautiful. And I started that because 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. Because here I was, I had finally accepted my womanhood, and the world was not reflecting that back on me and I was devastated.
"It took me years to fully internalize that someone can look at me and tell that I am transgendered and that is not only okay, but beautiful, because trans is beautiful. All the things that make me uniquely and beautifully trans — my big hands, my big feet, my wide shoulders, my deep voice — all of these things are beautiful" she continues.
"I’m not beautiful despite these things, I'm beautiful because of them. So I would like to encourage every single one of you in this room to join with me in showing the world that trans is beautiful in terms of how we cover trans stories and diverse stories in general. There are so many different kinds of beauty in the world that I want to celebrate and I know you want to celebrate it, too."
Read our full-length interview with Laverne Cox here.