Laverne Cox: Jenner’s high visibility allows her to reach so many people

caitlyn jenner laverne cox transLEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — For those of you still knocking our gift horse Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox drives home the point I’ve making about Jenner time and time again — Jenner’s high public visibility, privileged or not, has powerful positive impact on millions of people — people that we couldn’t ordinarily reach. Reality show fans, the TMZ crowd? Not even Laverne Cox can match Jenner in turning them into allies.

We couldn’t possibly BUY the kind of positive PR Jenner is sending our way. While the Jenner faucet is wide open, let’s bite our tongue and save our bickering for another day, or at least, keep it to yourself.

From the Business-Standard: The “Orange Is the New Black” actress [Laverne Cox] admitted that former Olympian’s popularity allows her to reach so many people, something she finds very impactful.

Laverne Cox on CBS’s The Talk  as reported in People Magazine: “It’s not about positive representation or negative representation, but diverse representation . . . I think what is so beautiful is that she’s using her privilege to elevate the stories of other trans folks that don’t have the privilege that she does.”  


All transgender lives are important — no one is better than another. But life isn’t always fair, but Jenner is an opportunity to make it better for the rest of us.

My earlier article on Jenner’s positive impact:

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10 replies

  1. Thumbs up Laverne, totally thumbs up! Sure, Caitlyn is going to stumble more than once, but at least she’s trying to help the best way she can.

  2. Ofcourse I am happy with the visibility of Caitlyn Jenner although I like the more intelligent and nuanced insight of Laverne Cox myself . I am not from the US myself so in my country this hardly plays any role .But I understand for America with its white dominated , hardcore christian , cis standard Caitlyn is easier to “relate” to by the mainstream than Laverne . Both are women with impact , both are equaly important because in our community women are from all color so it is important to have a woman such as Laverne where our women can relate to , and not only women of color but like in Orange is the New Black when her wig came off and we still saw this beautiful woman , that has impact too . Ofcourse the plastic fantastic dream of Caitlyn will open many doors for us and I am happy for all American men and women but we also need to understand that it is a double feeling with many in our community . Not to put down Caitlyn cause she is doing a wonderfull job as well but to realise we still live in a world where many still needs to be sugarcoated to get some message across .

  3. There is that.

    It is very important in the American culture to have actual people representing ideals, or representing ideas, or representing abstract concepts. Our pop culture provides ICONS, “ideal representatives'” in the various MEDIA outlets available today – and the great unwashed are so very pleased to be entertained (and educated hopefully)

    It’s the “Picture on the Cover of the Rolling Stone” cultural phenomenon, except now it seems to be Vogue Magazine.

    This may be is one reason for the terrible struggle to obtain social justice for our trans community – we have not well understood MASS MEDIA at all.

    Our teenage sweetheart Jazz – our television personality Laverne Cox, our dynamic spokesperson Janet Mock – the sensationalist Candice Kane – our writer and.intellectual Jenny Finney Boylan…. now our super hero, reality star Kaitlyn Jenner- all are “on stage” – in the spotlight – on focus

    (Naming but a few in the top of popularity right now, many others come to mind)

    These are today’s Media darlings (if I can be forgiven for putting them in that rather plastic category). And they capture the imagination of many Americans, in ways that we as grassroots activists cannot.

    To trans people, it is a bittersweet, but necessary next step toward gaining acceptance. What is presented is not exactly what we are – but it does put us in a more favorable light, in contrast to the horrible impressions of the trans community that were in people’s minds.before this began

    That can only be beneficial for us.

    Bittersweet indeed.

    • While Caitlyn Jenner might be a rookie in the world being transgender and Laverne is the seasoned veteran, in the world of public opinion, Caitlyn is the upcoming star of transgender world and they will be looking to her for the answers to their questions about being transgender! I agree that Laverne is the the better choice, but it keepsgoing back to the world of public opinion and who they will be looking to for answers.

  4. Thank you, Lexie, for continuing to write about this. I am a big fan of Janet Mock, Chaz Bono, and Jamie Clayton, as well. I would love to sit all three of them, along with Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner, in the same room and interview them. All five of them have such tremendous intelligence and insight into the human condition from so many different angles of perception . . . I enjoy all that you do, Lexie!! Thanks, Char

    • I couldn’t agree with you more about Cailyn’s star power. She does have to be careful to never slip up in the eyes of the public, because the public is very jaded and unforgiving. I do hope that this is the beginning of a positive view of transgender people as a whole.

  5. FWIW, I don’t think Jenner is a good representative. If nothing else, the idea that she’s “brave” is totally ludicrous. Most people who transition are rolling dice over whether they’ll keep their jobs, family, homes, freedom and dignity. Most lose that roll – badly. Jenner, by contrast, risks nothing.

    Besides, you can get away with anything being a celebrity, especially a celebrity long out of the limelight and linked to the Kardashian Circus, she’s kind of expected to do weird stuff. But, to those who don’t know better, it gives the false notion that transition is easy and what are all these other grievance-mongering trannies complaining about, anyway?


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