Transgender actress Laverne Cox on Trump administration: "They want to make us afraid"
Cox: "I am optimistic because over and over again the courts have held that transgender people are covered by Title IX and Title VII."
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From the October 23 edition of MSNBC's MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson:
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HALLIE JACKSON (HOST): Talk about what specifically is at stake here for the transgender community.
LAVERNE COX (ACTRESS): Well, in the effort to redefine gender in a binary way, in a codified way, it's about legislating transgender people out of existence. But I think it's important for people to know this is not anything new. Over the past three years in state legislatures all over the country, over 100 pieces of legislation have been introduced in state legislatures basically trying to excommunicate transgender people from public life. But we have fought those battles, and we have won. Earlier this year in Anchorage, AK, the citizens of Anchorage said that we do not support discriminating against transgender people, and next month in Massachusetts the citizens of Massachusetts have an opportunity to do the same thing by voting yes on 3.
We need to be aware that in state legislatures all over the country, folks are continually trying to introduce legislation banning transgender people from public life. We can change our policies in our schools and our local municipalities and to support transgender people and send a message to our administration, to our elected officials, that this is not who we are.
JACKSON: You seem optimistic, Laverne. Is that a fair assessment?
COX: I am optimistic because over and over again the courts have held that transgender people are covered by Title IX and Title VII. Earlier this year, the Aimee Stephens case upheld that trans -- in the, I think it was the 6th Circuit -- that transgender people are covered by Title VII. Ash Whitaker's case also upheld that transgender people are covered by Title IX. So, we've won in the courts repeatedly, and the citizens of Anchorage, when they listened to the lived experiences of trans people, said that we do not want to support discriminating against these people. They want to fearmonger and say that transgender people are not who we say we are. And ultimately, we just want to go to work. We want to go to school safely. We want to live the American dream. Everyone should have the right to do that, and that's what I believe in. I'm a proud American, and I believe in the possibilities of this country. My life would not be possible if it were not for America, so that's why I'm hopeful. And I think if we all come together and support transgender folks, and we also have to support people of color, women, undocumented folks. We have to keep supporting each other and go out and vote November 6.
The New York Times: ‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration