Laverne Cox slams lawmakers for using trans people ‘like political football’

Laverne Cox isn’t holding back on the troubling wave of anti-transgender legislation sweeping the US

The actor, author, and LGBTQ rights activist spoke with MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart for an upcoming special, “Pride of Stage and Screen.” While the program focuses on queer representation in Hollywood and Broadway, the conversation takes a poignant turn when Capehart asks for Cox’s thoughts on laws barring transgender women and girls from participating in women’s school sports teams.

“It’s devastating to me as a trans person,” the ‘Orange Is the New Black’ star said. “It’s devastating for someone who has traveled the country and met trans kids. … I think what’s important to understand about this moment is that I don’t think these lawmakers suddenly care about girls’ sports.

“Trans people are used as political football,” she continued. “A lot of people still don’t understand and fully understand the humanity of trans people, and so we’re being used like a political football by mostly conservative politicians. But the unfortunate thing is that these policies have real ramifications for trans youth and their parents.

Republican-dominated legislatures in at least 18 states have introduced restrictions on transgender participation in public school sports. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, expressed disapproval after his state passed such a ban earlier this month, but said any effort to veto it would be futile against the government-controlled legislature. State GOP.

Cox, fresh off a well-received turn on Netflix’s “Inventing Anna,” is one of many stars who will appear in “Pride of Stage and Screen.” Airing Sunday, the special will also include interviews with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Michael R. Jackson and actor Jaquel Spivey from the hit Broadway musical “A Strange Loop,” among others.

Speaking to -, Capehart described Cox as a natural fit for the program given both his deep work as an artist and his lifelong commitment to LGBTQ rights.

“Representation really matters,” he said. “It’s not just about showing the nation that we are here. It’s about potentially giving a lifeline to a young LGBTQ child wondering if they’re alone in the world.

Noting that he hoped viewers would feel ‘proud and inspired’ after listening, he added: ‘By sharing these stories, our collective LGBTQ history will not be erased, despite the best efforts of some far-right conservatives. The accomplishments of the people in “Pride of Stage and Screen” demonstrate that the lies told about us are false. »

“Pride of Stage and Screen” airs Sunday at 10 p.m. EST on MSNBC.

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