Transgender actor Laverne Cox blamed conservatives for “weaponizing the culture wars” and “dehumanizing” transgender children with a push to protect spaces reserved for biological females.
In a lengthy interview with Variety to kick-start the month of June — “Pride Month” — Laverne Cox lamented the wave of “anti-trans bills” sweeping across the country — laws that would prevent biological males from competing in women’s sports and from using the bathroom facilities of their choice, in line with their preferred — rather than their biological — gender.
“What they’re trying to do is to dehumanize these children, which is so heartbreaking,” Cox said. “It’s really heartbreaking when you see the way they’re talking, the fervor with which they’re going after these children. In the face of that, we have to insist on the humanity of everyone. Insist on the humanity of trans people, and particularly the humanity of trans children.”
“I think what feels different is how well how coordinated it all is,” added Cox. “It’s no accident that 35 states have introduced over 100 bills targeting trans kids and gender-affirming health care for trans youth. They’ve been so organized. A few years ago, they were all about bathrooms, right? There was a slew of bills as legislators all over the country attacked trans people in the bathroom. We were able to fight back against that with the lived experience and humanity of trans people. And with all the fearmongering they were doing about bathrooms, people realized that it wasn’t about bathrooms. It was about trying to make trans people not exist.”
According to Cox, the GOP is pushing these so-called “anti-trans bills” to distract from the fact they have no economic plan for the working class and because they can no longer “fearmonger” over same-sex marriage now that it is the “law of the land.”
“I think a lot of conservatives were very frustrated when marriage equality became the law of the land, and when that decision came down they were like, ‘OK, what can we do to fearmonger? What can we do to divide people on cultural issues?'” asserted Cox. “The conservative party doesn’t have an economic message for working-class people, so they are weaponizing cultural wars. They’re talking about Dr. Seuss and transgender children playing sports when there’s still a global pandemic and people have lost their jobs.”
The “Orange Is The New Black” star also told Variety that “diversity” quotas, mandating that corporations hire transgender workers, can reduce trans people to tokens in a corporation’s diversity campaign. To combat tokenism, Cox suggested a full overhaul of the whole “oppressive” corporate system.
“Checking all these boxes to maintain the same oppressive systems that are there in place doesn’t necessarily change the material conditions of working-class trans people. We are interested in real liberation. If we’re interested in real justice, this system needs to also change,” said Cox.