Laverne Cox has every reason to be protective of herself, given that she’s one of the most recognizable transgender celebrities on the planet who simultaneously navigates the world as a black trans woman.
Among trans women, there’s also the expectation that she should immediately connect through shared history,
Laverne Cox cover of Self‘s latest issue and the 46-year-old Orange Is The New Black actress opened up about dating, being transgender, how her view of herself has changed, self-love and more.
Cox grew up in Mobile, Alabama. Her mother, a teacher, stressed the importance of education, and, crucially, encouraged Cox to pursue her passion for dance and the arts from a young age, signing her up for dance classes starting in the third grade.
Cox has 3.3 million followers on Instagram. She frequently posts photo and video updates from her life—many featuring her dancing playfully in front of the mirror, making sexy, silly, joyful faces. In her Instagram captions, Cox often uses the hashtag #transisbeautiful.
Cox talks about self-love and self-acceptance as a process that involves work on multiple fronts. She says therapy is key to being in touch with her own self-worth, but also that acting itself has been a great tool for helping Cox understand herself.
Before Cox met her current boyfriend, Kyle Draper, the CEO of a record label, she had some ground rules when it came to dating.
She had requirements for what she looked for in a partner as well: “Am I attracted to the person, does the person treat me well and make me feel good about myself, does it feel safe?” Cox says. “A friend of mine said, ‘Would you trust this person that you’re dating around your child if you had one?’ I think about my inner child…re-parenting my inner child. Would that person be safe around my inner child?”
Cox said, One of the most difficult aspects of being trans that people often don’t account for is that while we want to be perceived as we are in the present, we often carry with us significant traumas from the past.
On dating: “I wanted a man to validate my womanhood or validate that I’m attractive…I’m not buying it anymore. I’m not buying into that, I’m not having it. I’m sexy and I’m going to own that because I think trans women…are sexy. A lot of us are sexy not despite our transness, but because of our transness. That’s just the truth.”