On MSNBC, Laverne Cox Explains The Human Reality Of Trump's Rescinding Of Trans-Inclusive Policies

Cox: “These Anti-Trans Bathroom Bills Are Not Really About Bathrooms, It's About Whether Or Not We Believe Trans People Have A Right To Exist In Public Space”

From the February 23 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:

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CHRIS MATTHEWS (HOST): Give us a sense, you're not here to argue, you're here to explain the human reality of being transgender and what this reversal basically in and the progress made in the Obama administration would mean to real people? 

LAVERNE COX: First of all, thank you so much for having me here today and when Loretta Lynch, the former Attorney General Loretta Lynch made that incredible statement last year, I was so moved and I felt for the first time our federal government was acknowledging the humanity and dignity of trans people and it felt like we were turning a corner. And the current administration is revoking of these guidelines yesterday feels like we are moving backwards. And I think it sends a message to transgender people that we are not safe in this country. It stains us, it stigmatizes us, it forces us to not be visible and not be who we are. And that's a really a horrible place to be in. 


I think at the end of the day we have to highlight humanity of trans people. And lift up trans people's stories. it's been very frustrating for me to watch on commentary about this without actual trans people being present. And that's why I wanted to be here today to add trans voices to this conversation. 

MATTHEWS: Let's talk about reality, and I hope I don't embarrass anybody because I'm not here to do that. I'm just trying to understand the public policy here. I was just at LaGuardia [Airport] the other day coming back down here. You go to the men or the women's room, and you make a decision, What does this have to do with decision this back forth,his back and forth we've had here with Obama to Trump in terms of what room you're suppose to which room you're supposed to go into? 

COX: Well my friend Chase Strangio, who works at the ACLU, says this so brilliantly that these anti-trans bathroom bills are not really about bathrooms, it's about whether or not we believe trans people have a right to exist in public space. When trans people cannot access public bathrooms we can't go to schools effectively, go to work effectively, access healthcare facilities, it's about us existing in public space. And the folks who oppose trans people facilities that are consistent with how we identify, know all the things that they claim don't actually happen it's really about us not existing, about erasing trans people.

 And if we look at states like California and assembly bill 1266 which was signed into law by [Govenor] Jerry Brown in 2013 and implemented three years ago, January 1st 2014, it basically allowed trans students in the state of California to use the facilities that are consistent with how we identify. And nothing horrible has happened. What has indeed happened is trans student feels supported by their schools and by their administrations and it gives them space to thrive. And that's what we should want for all of our youth.


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