Laverne Cox: Bathroom Bills “Criminalize Trans People” And No One Is Talking About It

Cox: “If We Can’t Access Public Bathrooms, We Can't Go To School, We Can't Work, We Can't Go To Health Care Facilities.”

From the February 14 edition of CBS’s CBS This Morning:

Video file

ANTHONY MASON (CO-HOST): Before we talk about Doubt, let’s talk about your headline-making moment at the Grammys on Sunday. Because you asked everybody to look up a name, Gavin Grimm, a case which involves a 17-year-old in Virginia.

LAVERNE COX: Yes, Gavin Grimm is a 17-year-old young man from Gloucester, Virginia, who going to the Supreme Court March 28th. He had to sue the school board in his town so he could use the bathroom like all the other young boys in his school. Gavin is transgender. And we were talking earlier, can you can imagine being 17-years-old having to go to the Supreme Court to fight for the same rights as everybody else?

GAYLE KING (CO-HOST): Did you tell anybody you were going to do that?

COX: I did not tell anyone. I didn't want anyone to say I couldn't do it. So I didn’t tell anyone, no one knew, like none of my people knew that I was going to shout out Gavin. And I did it because I was partly frustrated that no one was talking about it. This is the first time that the Supreme Court is hearing a case about trans rights. And last year, over 50 bills criminalizing trans people for using the bathroom that’s consistent with their gender identity were introduced in state legislatures all over the country. All of a sudden, over 50 bills. And what people should know about these bathroom bills that criminalize trans people -- criminalize me going to the women's room, is that these bills are not about bathrooms. They're about whether trans people have the right to exist in public space. If we can’t access public bathrooms, we can't go to school, we can't work, we can't go to health care facilities. This is about public accommodations. And so, public accommodations are always key to civil rights. I can’t help but think about that moment from Hidden Figures when Taraji P. Henson’s character had to walk 45 minutes to the bathroom. Gavin had to go do a special gender neutral bathroom, a nurse's bathroom that was way out of the way. And initially he was doing this, he was like this is really crazy can I just go to the boy’s bathroom like everybody else? And for seven weeks he did without incident. Then they found out about it and they said no you can’t.

KING: Well I Googled after you did it, I actually Googled and I thought well good for her for saying something because I had never heard this story.   


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