Orange is the New Black actress Laverne Cox and RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Carmen Carrera joined Katie Couric on Monday to discuss their careers and bring transgender equality to the forefront.
Though Couric was set on educating viewers on transgender gentalia and sexuality, Cox focused on transgender violence and equality. Cox stated: “The preoccupation with transition and surgery objectifies trans people. And then we don’t get to really deal with the real lived experiences. The reality of trans people’s lives is that so often we are targets of violence. We experience discrimination disproportionately to the rest of the community. Our unemployment rate is twice the national average; if you are a trans person of color, that rate is four times the national average.”
The OITNB star then turned the attention to the murder of Islan Nettles, a 21-year old transgender woman and similar violence towards trans people in the United States. She added: “The homicide rate is highest among trans women. If we focus on transition, we don’t actually get to talk about those things…By focusing on bodies we don’t focus on the lived realities of that oppression and that discrimination.”
Cox handled the interview eloquently and left viewers with important trans justice information. Watch the video below: