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Actress Laverne Cox Weighs in on Caitlyn Jenner’s Surgery

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tumblr_npavvpQ1DU1saq5y4o1_1280Transgender actress Laverne Cox has always been vocal about undergoing a sex change and how it has affected her life.

In a new post published on her Tumblr account, the Orange Is The New Black actress talks about the journey of Transgender people in the public eye while praising Caitlyn Jenner for her courage.

Read her post below:

On May 29, 2014, the issue of time magazine which proclaimed the “Transgender Tipping Point” was revealed with me on the cover. June 1, 2015 a year and 3 days later, Caitlyn Jenner’s vanityfair cover was revealed proclaiming #CallMeCaitlyn I am so moved by all the love and support Caitlyn is receiving.

It feels like a new day, indeed, when a trans person can present her authentic self to the world for the first time and be celebrated for it so universally. Many have commented on how gorgeous Caitlyn looks in her photos, how she is “slaying for the Gods.” I must echo these comments in the vernacular, “Yasss Gawd! Werk Caitlyn! Get it!”

But this has made me reflect critically on my own desires to ‘work a photo shoot’, to serve up various forms of glamour, power, sexiness, body affirming, racially empowering images of the various sides of my black, trans womanhood. I love working a photo shoot and creating inspiring images for my fans, for the world and above all for myself. But I also hope that it is my talent, my intelligence, my heart and spirit that most captivate, inspire, move and encourage folks to think more critically about the world around them.

Yes, Caitlyn looks amazing and is beautiful but what I think is most beautiful about her is her heart and soul, the ways she has allowed the world into her vulnerabilities. The love and devotion she has for her family and that they have for her. Her courage to move past denial into her truth so publicly. These things are beyond beautiful to me.

A year ago when my Time magazine cover came out I saw posts from many trans folks saying that I am “drop dead gorgeous” and that that doesn’t represent most trans people. (It was news to be that I am drop dead gorgeous but I’ll certainly take it). But what I think they meant is that in certain lighting, at certain angles I am able to embody certain cisnormative beauty standards.

Now, there are many trans folks because of genetics and/or lack of material access who will never be able to embody these standards. More importantly many trans folks don’t want to embody them and we shouldn’t have to to be seen as ourselves and respected as ourselves . It is important to note that these standards are also infomed by race, class and ability among other intersections. I have always been aware that I can never represent all trans people. No one or two or three trans people can. This is why we need diverse media representstions of trans folks to multiply trans narratives in the media and depict our beautiful diversities. I started #TransIsBeautiful as a way to celebrate all those things that make trans folks uniquely trans, those things that don’t necessarily align with cisnormative beauty standards.

For me it is necessary everyday to celebrate every aspect of myself especially those things about myself that don’t align with other people’s ideas about what is beautiful. #TransIsBeautiful is about, whether you’re trans or not, celebrating all those things that make us uniquely ourselves.

Most trans folks don’t have the privileges Caitlyn and I have now have. It is those trans folks we must continue to lift up, get them access to healthcare, jobs, housing, safe streets, safe schools and homes for our young people. We must lift up the stories of those most at risk, statistically trans people of color who are poor and working class. I have hoped over the past few years that the incredible love I have received from the public can translate to the lives of all trans folks. Trans folks of all races, gender expressions, ability, sexual orientations, classes, immigration status, employment status, transition status, genital status etc.. I hope, as I know Caitlyn does, that the love she is receiving can translate into changing hearts and minds about who all trans people are as well as shifting public policies to fully support the lives and well being of all of us.

The struggle continues…

Adesola is the BellaNaija Head of Content and Digital Ventures. She is a BN stan.. Yes, things are that serious for her when it comes to BellaNaija.com. She's a lover of gist, novels, music, and food. She's constantly trying not to take life for granted. She spends most of her time either keeping up with the world on the Internet or sharing some acquired knowledge about digital media. She is passionate about using her voice to speak against injustice, especially towards women. To communicate with her directly, you can hit her up on: Instagram - @adesola.au Twitter - @Adesola_AU

25 Comments

  1. dobzi

    June 3, 2015 at 6:22 am

    Good for them

    dobzifingers.com/?m=1

  2. bruno FIERCE

    June 3, 2015 at 7:15 am

    jealousy. caitlyn has come to snatch someone’s weave.

    laverne cox pls several seats. its not about you anymore. u are old news. stop trying to share another person’s moment.

    “when I did I my time magazine photo shoot” “I was on the cover of time magazine” “time magazine put me on their cover”

    how many times will u tell us that u were on the cover of time magazine. biko have a seat.

    laverne cox pls when u say ” your womanhood” what do u mean by that. being a woman is not about fixing fake silicone breasts or wearing heavy make up and hair. being a woman is in the dna.
    I believe in science and studies and research. caitlyn jenners DNA is still male. caitlyn jenner has a prostate (real women don’t have prostates). no matter how much plastic surgery caitlyn has on the outside of her body, her insides are still going to be male.

    there are some drugs that have different dosages for men women and children. if a doctor prescribes that kind of drug for caitlyn, he is going to prescribe the male dosage because caitlyn jenner’s insides are male.

    ” Many
    have commented on how gorgeous
    Caitlyn looks in her photos”

    thats one thing i dislike about transgenders, its always about physical appearance. they cut their penis off and they think they are super models or something.
    its vanity. if u want attention ,cut your dick off and start wearing dresses.

    “bruce” jenner saw how the paparazzi and magazines were crazy for his daughters and he wanted in on the action and attention also.

    lets watch and see how much “bruce” jenner makes this year.

    • Esosa

      June 3, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      @ Bruno

      First time, you are making sense. You must have taken your meds early today. Anyway, bella naija please enough of this family. I hate how this is suppose to be a naija blog but this family get more headlines than naija stories and even other African stories. I visit a lot of U.S blogs, so when I visit this blog it’s to get stories about what’s going in in Nigeria/Africa. I’m begging you in the name of God, change this obsession bella has with this family.

  3. What's up

    June 3, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Am not getting this madness. And am worried many young people will think it’s cool to think they can change from one gender to another even for silly reasons

  4. ideyvex

    June 3, 2015 at 8:12 am

    This is all some mighty bullshit. I hope it doesn’t end with Bruce committing suicide! Sick!

  5. Ginika

    June 3, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Laverne, story for the gods! This article or statement is about praising yourself, covering it up with representing the people of color tran community. Caitlyn looked hot, so you want to release hotter pictures, so you tell us the story behind why you want to go on a raunchy photo shoot before hand. You had the money, so you got a good job done. Please it is your life and I have no personal responsibility or relationship in it, but please don’t shove it down our faces with raunchy photos. The same way I see images of naked female bodies being shoved down our throat as the definition of hot or beautiful.

    I don tire, the world has too many differing interests. Most individuals have personal freedom, which means these interests have to be accommodated, and some want them to be celebrated. That’s not possible because a lot of interests clash. Also, almost everyone with their differing interests are fighting for equal rights, with a few fighting for supremacy. This has led me to believe that at some point there would be a massive war because of these clashes. Don’t get me wrong, freedom is good but with personal freedom comes a lot of responsibility to ensure that by exercising your freedom you are not encroaching on someone else’s freedom out of your selfishness. Don’t force me to accept and celebrate being a transgender as right because I won’t personally force you to accept my principles as being right. I will however respect you as a human being but don’t force me to embrace your actions as being right and celebrate them with you.

    Back to the Larvene matter, wonder what she would do if there was a hotter black tran who is also as famous as she is? Would she feel threatened that the self-appointed role of being the face of the color tran community would slip away from her? Is it really about the community as a whole or the stardom that comes with pioneering this phenomena within hollywood?

    • Anonymous

      June 3, 2015 at 9:35 am

      Very well said. I like the way that you have articulated your thoughts. However, I celebrate Caitlyn struggle if you may. I can only imagine what it takes to do this. I do agree with you that there are too many clashing interests and no one should impose theirs on other people. It’s a matter of live and let live. If everyone lived by this, the world would be at peace.

    • Ginika

      June 3, 2015 at 10:06 am

      @anonymous, I don’t disagree with you. A few things crossed my mind recently, one of them being how we the people of this generation, like things easy. We cover or justify taking the easy way out as freedom. Fighting through certain things that plague, that ‘persecutes’ – if you may call it that – and learning to overcome these things , not letting those things control you, develops your character and you as a human being. Those things that persecute you give you depth, they give you insight, they help you become more tolerant and they help you contribute to the lives of others, when you overcome them.

      I don’t deny the fact that there is a real struggle people face who feel they are women – or vice versa – trapped in a man’s body; but in my opinion, it is the same struggle a peadophile faces, same struggle a person consumed with rage faces, same struggle a kleptomaniac faces etc. These are more severe struggles but simple ones as struggling with food, struggling with arrogance, pride, lies, trust issues, addictive personalities, abandonment issues etc. Now my question is, does that mean we should give into all the urges we feel because it makes us feel good or because it is easier? Let these urges control us? We justify it by saying it is love! There is a difference between attraction, sex and love. In my opinion love is a state and not just a temporal feeling of attraction. Sex is an action that can affirm love. I just siddon they wonder, but me sef I dey careful so as not to be blinded by side of the story and put my opinions as being the law.

    • bruno FIERCE

      June 3, 2015 at 11:38 am

      @ginika
      u are not as intelligent as u think u are.

      u keep mixing things up. talking about your human rights being encroached on. are u the one being persecuted for being who u are? don’t forget you’re a woman, not just a woman, a BLACK woman. the lowest minority in the world.

      when u talked about sex and love which people are u referring to? cause u sounded like we are celebrating a child molester or a pedophile or something.

      I feel you are not confident enough to fully express your opinion thats why u used “etc”

      express ur opinion fully, lets know what you’re talking about. lets know the group of people u are attacking. lets know which group of people u have a problem with. (sipping tea waiting for u to fall for trap) lol

      my problem with the whole transgender thing is, caitlyn’s dna is still male. so how does that make bruce jenner a woman if your dna is male. is it the hair or the make up or the silicone breasts or the long dresses that make him a woman. pls someone educate I don’t know everything.

      the second problem I have is this kardashian jenners are fame whore who will do anything for fame and money, so how much is caitlyn going to make this year. are they genuine or are they milking this for all its worth

    • Ginika

      June 3, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      Nwata, me che onu gi, si eba puwo!

    • Bia this Bruno

      June 3, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      What is the difference between gay and transgender? You dey vex because he did what you can never do? How can you being gay be vexing for caitlyn jenner. You as a homosexual are not better. You have been criticizing this man since he changed his sex. You are not even straight. Na wah. All of una dey the same category….BUT Bruce has more guts than you. I hope you will repent and receive Jesus.

    • Ginika

      June 3, 2015 at 6:29 pm

      Ps @Bruno: I did not waste my time reading your entire comment, I really couldn’t be bothered about your opinions. I see your name and I know some random off point would be made that shows the enormous amount of disdain you have towards yourself and how you deeply detest yourself. Did you not get enough love and appreciation growing up? Cause whatever your point, you make them with anger, disdain and bitterness. Huns, that’s not healthy, you should get that checked! And it is never too late to start loving and appreciating yourself, it’s never too late to get that venomous bitterness out your system. I am not even trying to insult you.

  6. oy

    June 3, 2015 at 8:49 am

    hian! this is serious

  7. nnys

    June 3, 2015 at 9:42 am

    We are still dealing with abuse on the girl child and women someone is bringing up talk about safe streets, schools etc forpeople who choose for themselves to be vulnerable!

  8. prince

    June 3, 2015 at 10:27 am

    If she’s Caitlyn is happy, good for her. all that matters is your happiness and you owe no one an apology for that.

  9. Aderonke says #Bring BackOurGirls#

    June 3, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Ginika, God bless you for your sharing your beautiful thoughts.
    Exactly same way I feel, you can choose to be man or woman today and say you have the heart of a monkey and become a monkey tomorrow abi but why shove it down our throats? that I can’t stand.
    And is even more sad that this is what the world celebrates! How can an award of COURAGE at the ESPYS awards be given to Caityln Jenner over a man that fought tirelessly at war lost his hands and legs, How can pls? Dat enough shows that the world is celebrating mediocrity.
    What are we going to tell our children and the unborn ones that it is alright to be a girl/boy today and be a goat tomorrow?
    What is life? Is it just about our happiness or about impacting lives and making it better?
    Jesus died for us even in tears, he didn’t want to but he HAD TO!
    So many things would make some people, snatching sum1’s husband, or stealing government fund, or raping young girls etc but are they the right things to do? NO.
    Because we cannot continue to live in sin and expect GRACE to abound, I am no saint but I know the bible and the salvation is all about saving us all from condemnation.
    But if a man chooses to condemn himself already… pity pity!
    Kai…Oluwa ku suru!

  10. tunmi

    June 3, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Too many transgendered kids have committed suicide. If Caitlyn’s photoshoot and Laverne’s Cox can reach one of them, can help give them the strength to carry on, then I’m glad. I will never know what it is like to be trapped in the wrong gender. I remember Zahara, who I think is Nigeria’s first openly trans woman. We, Nigerians and Africans alike, need to start telling our own stories. In that we have gay Nigerians coming out and creating a safe space, the same needs to happen for our trans people.

    • Sunflower

      June 3, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      Theres just more to being a woman than putting on makeup and getting implants just like Bruno said. They don’t even get periods or have the ability to birth a child. Not saying that’s all that defines a woman but what they do doesn’t come with the full package. I just think what will become of the newer generations if we keep encouraging guys that it’s ok to act like a female. What if every guy in this world decides it’s ok to become a woman in years to come, what of procreation? Who will teach our sons’ sons to be men?

    • tunmi

      June 3, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      Please calm down. Not every human being is transgender and not every woman will have kids. The human race us not going into extinction and one’s sexual identity does not make them good or bad. Procreation will keep happening and people will learn to be men and women.

  11. lily-white

    June 5, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Am talking strictly from a christian point of view,i do NOT believe in all this trangender crap,if God didn’t make you male/female through nature via conception,then you are totally on a whirlwind of deceit&ultra/mega falhood,i mean jenner&d whole trangender community couldn’t be more unreal than a toad birthing an elephant !
    Common guys how low can this be?isn’t this a slap across his creator’s face for “a job badly done”.well for all it’s worth plastic surgery can never make PERFECTthis is reality&not d t.v show good work!
    Lastly i must add that for jenner&d likes of him out there whether African or not,there are some deep rooted psychological issues that were probably ignored and it has metamorphosed into this abnormal&unrealistic excape measure,Sadly enough such people are celebrated instead of been prayed for;God help us all!!!!!

  12. Tammy soul

    June 22, 2015 at 3:16 am

    Do Bruce Caitlyn Jenner DNA still test XY?

  13. Tammy soul

    June 22, 2015 at 3:19 am

    Bruce cattle j Jenner if you no the answer, DNA still test XY?

  14. Tammy soul

    June 22, 2015 at 3:20 am

    Bruce catyln Jenner still have a prostate?

  15. Tammy soul

    June 22, 2015 at 3:21 am

    Does Bruce catyln Jenner still have a penis?

  16. Just My Comment

    July 1, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Wow, I read this article and i feel extremely sad and afraid for our children unborn. I wonder what the world will be like when they arrive.

    This transgender/homosexual crap is getting out of hand, gradually even normal people are beginning to accept this and encourage it… What kind of community will our children grow up in, one where they are told that if the ultimate creator, PERFECTLY created them as male, but they feel they were meant to be female, then it’s alright for them to change their sex.

    Thereby, indirectly telling the creator, He did a silly job by creating as male of female… Honestly, our sins are more than that of SODOM and GOMORRAH

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