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Laverne Cox receives the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at #GLAADAWARDS

Laverne Cox receives the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at #GLAADAWARDS

many of you know that I officially came out on Valentine's Day and one of the best things about it was the way it enabled me to publicly show support for the people who inspire me and give me courage and I'm here to do just that tonight for one of my heroes Laverne Cox laverne is educated so many about who transgender people are those whose gender identify differs from their assigned sex at birth for years she has worked with glad for transgender equality and she's having a moment right now producing a documentary about Cece McDonald a trans woman forced to serve jail time and a men's prison for defending herself becoming the first trans woman of color in a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show orange is the new black laverne also scored a huge success for the LGBT community when she made headlines by speaking the truth about trans women – Katie Couric and her viewing viewing audience but she's always been a groundbreaker she was the first trans woman of color to produce and star in her own television show vh1's transform me she was also the first trans woman of color to appear on an American reality TV show GLAAD Media Award winner I want to work for Diddy on vh1 she did not win the job okay but thank God because can you imagine what we would have lost if Laverne just ended up working for Diddy Laverne is working for us every LGBT person questionings teen and straight Ally who thinks the world should be a more kind compassionate interesting beautiful place where we try to bond over the ways and we in which we are alike instead of attacking each other for our differences GLAAD gives the Steven F Kohl's AK award to openly LGBT media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality for the community this year it is an absolute honor to present it to an LGBT icon and longtime friend of GLAAD Laverne Cox oh my goodness wow thank you so much glad for this amazing honor I'm so happy to accept the Steven F Kozak award this evening how you feeling tonight glad how you you're doing okay I have to say I'm really really overwhelmed I'm still not used to getting Awards I'm an african-american transgender woman from a working-class background raised by a single mother we are not programmed to get you to to think we should receive these kinds of awards but but but I like to think that things are changing Thank You Ellen thank you so much I'm so deeply honored and I was I have been a fan a huge fan of your work for as an actress for many many years and I I was so deeply moved to find out more of your story a few months ago and that is really what we're here for tonight ladies and gentlemen for for more of our stories is LGBTQ people at and I'm so moved by the work that GLAAD has been doing particularly over the past year to make sure that the tea is not silent in the LGBT community that last year I got to serve on a panel of all trans people of color that that GLAAD organized for the National organizing Institute at the LGBT Center in New York City I was really proud of that and I'm really proud that that GLAAD helped Cece McDonald come to New York City for the first time to tell her story to various media outlets GLAAD made that happen in that and I was on a Google hangout when they were doing media training for Cece McDonald as she prepared to tell her story to the world after being incarcerated for 19 months so we should make some noise for GLAAD for for for being a national LGBT organization that is attempting to lead the way to tell more transgender stories ides I have to say it's really hard for me to stand here tonight and receive an award just yesterday one of my transgender sisters a woman by the name of Monica Jones was found guilty of a crime in Phoenix Arizona that is basically called manifesting prostitution something like that which basically means that as a trans woman of color walking in a certain neighborhood you can be arrested for prostitution just for walking while trans that happened in Arizona just yesterday so there is so much more work that needs to be done to make sure that that never happens again and my dear friend Reina Gossett and from the Sylvia Rivera Law Project in New York City tweeted today why are LGBTQ news organizations not reporting on this injustice why are they not reporting so we have so much more work to do whatever but I do want to thank a few people I want to thank Netflix and Lionsgate yes and and and I want to thank gingy Cohen and in the entire cast and crew of orange is the new black it is a dream for me to be able to go and work with all of you every day and you've made my dreams come true and I'm so happy to have this opportunity I still want to thank my agent Paul Aleppo and um in 2007 an amazing thing happened Candis Cayne became the first transgender woman to have recurring role in a prime-time television show it was ABC's Dirty Sexy Money we should make some noise for Candis Cayne I would not be here if it weren't for Candis Cayne and in 2007 after Candis Cayne at that moment she's a major possibility model for me I I made postcards and I sent into about five hundred agents well you know the whole actor sending out postcards old thing and I got about four meetings and one of them was with Paul jalapao and I have to tell you that my my first audition with him I kind of choked I kind of choked it really didn't go well but but Paul saw something in me that day that I didn't quite see in myself and I love you Paul and Paul is like this amazing agent who makes you feel like you are his only client and he has done so much for me and and for years this is a big deal for years I bet I did my first movie like 16 years ago and for years I was trying to have a career as an actor doing what I love to do most and was told repeatedly by agent after agent that they didn't know what to do with me that I would not work and in Paul I wouldn't be here if it weren't for policy thank you so much I also want to say I saw in the clip that I got to accept the the GLAAD Media Award for I want to work for Diddy about five years ago on on the GLAAD stage and I like to think that after thinking about doing that show that Jennifer Lopez and I both have have some memories with Diddy that we want to try to forget I'm sorry I'm sorry miss Libous I had to do I don't know you like that I'm sorry J to the L oh hello I love you but but I found out after I did that show I I found out that Sean Rankin who was one of the executive producers of Iona we're for duty came to the president of GLAAD at the time before we started shooting is that we have this transgender woman on the show how should we handle that and the president of GLAAD said let her take the lead and telling her story that's good right that's good and and that's exactly what they did and and I'm so proud to say that I got so many emails and messages from transgender women of color all over the country who said I've never seen a transgender woman a black transgender woman represented in a professional way on TV ever before and that happened because the producers of that show said let's let her take the lead and telling her story that is the way we should be proceeding when we when we tried to tell trans stories and I'm also really proud to say that I over the past six months I've gotten to travel the country and Canada talking to college students I've met so many college students over over the past six months who told me that that my character on orange is the new black has allowed them to have conversations about who they are that is why we're here a lovely young man at Vanderbilt University said to me when I tell people that I'm trans now they say oh like Sophie on August new black and then they move on and it's not a big deal and that is the power of ever yeah that is the power of what our media representations can do if we if we have the courage to tell truthful stories gingy cohen i don't think when she was writing and came up with the idea for the show said i want to change the way transgender people are represented on TV i think she just said i want to tell human stories i just want to tell human stories and and that really should be the goal for everyone who wants to tell stories and and and that we tell diverse stories I love the shout out from miss Naomi Campbell – MS Carmen Carrera hey Carmen and and I think it's me Naomi reminded us – that LGBT people are also people of color and so so I I just want to since I have the stage I just want to remind each and every one of us that that social justice means that we have to have to look at our internalized racism we have to look at internalized homophobia and transphobia I met this I'm gonna wrap up soon I I met this young person on spirit day which is an amazing day we um we advocate for the ending of a bullying of our LGBTQ youth that GLAAD started a few years ago last beard day I met a young person by the name of Davy rahega in Charleston South Carolina and Davy was part of a youth organization called we are family and Davy just so you know identifies as a fat hairy brown phim trans masculine queer bodied magic pony I love Devi and what I was Devi as a brilliant young person and what Devi in their remarks on spirit day basically said that I am an inheritor of cultural trauma I have been both a a survivor and a perpetrator of cultural violence and for me that was so important because it reminded me that each and every one of us has the capacity to be an oppressor so so I just want to leave you tonight with Davey's words and to encourage each and every one of us to interrogate how we might be an oppressor and how we might be able to become liberators for ourselves and for each other thank you so much for this honor [Applause]

46 thoughts on “Laverne Cox receives the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at #GLAADAWARDS

  1. How insanely indoctrinated is our culture, that someone can stand on a stage and say the equivalent of 2+2=5 (this man is a woman), and the audience not only goes along, but wildly cheers?

    As an aside, I've noticed that a common theme among many "trans" is their enthusiastic assumption of the coveted victim status as a weird, twisted means of virtue. This culture is completely shot; there is no fixing it.

  2. you know,im not gay, but this woman right her, is so amazing and a lady, and a role model for many young woman out there . shes better than many women i know

  3. She's amazing. I never knew she was so brilliant until I saw her on the view. So insightful and so right. She was long winded but she's the kind of person who needs to be given all the time in the world to say what she needs to say because it's all so poignant. I'm also impressed by the fact that she seems to remember everyone's name she's ever met. I can never remember a damn name. I bet every person she spoke of felt so special.

  4. Rather than concern myself with sexuality,
    I would rather Protect My Heart & Soul✞❣⇪

    This is none but the return of 'Sodom & Gomorrah' with no concern for Children❣

    In due time, everyone will see the mind game played upon them, to include homo's…

  5. My two most favourite women in the world.
    Both so articulate and amazing role models for everyone, not just members of the LGBT+ community.

  6. She is so Comfortable and I love her. Maybe She is Lesbian , yes . But She always be Amazing . I mean She always Live her life . This is Amazing . She is inspire all The lesbians and gays. I think she is really Amazing ! I love her so much ♡♡♡♡

  7. It is so hard to listen and watch Laverne convey his message when he stutters and moves her hands in the same way over and over again.

  8. We must interrogate how WE might be an OPPRESSOR and how WE might be able to become LIBERATORS for ourselves and for each other.

  9. Awesome! Man I talk about respect everyone and am proud yo be open minded but I gotta watch more stuff related to these things. By "these things" I mean everything trying earn respect in this cruel world from genders, sexual orientation to artistic views/ideas and human rights in general. We're definitely headed in an awesome direction. And I continue to say the #1 thing helping is Internet. It allows us to connect worldwide (for the most part) to talk, share and learn. Now someone in a small town in Colombia can watch this or a TV Show from Japan, a speech from France or be on a video chat with someone in Russia. It's awesome! And YouTube just adds more! It's epic! Glad we can learn like this every day and move this world forward to accept humans for who they are (while still being careful with psychopaths, sociopaths, etc because we know how much they've hurt many in history. Like I said, we learn).

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