Who Is Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox, a tireless advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, has become a prominent actress and the first openly transgender person nominated for an Emmy. Her efforts have focused on promoting visibility and awareness for the transgender community. Born on May 29, 1972, in Mobile, Alabama, Cox grew up with her mother and twin brother, never knowing her father. Despite facing challenges, Cox’s creativity sustained her throughout her childhood. She dreamt of being on the stage, dancing and performing from a young age.

Embracing Androgyny and Pursuing Education

Cox received a scholarship to study at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, where she began to embrace androgyny during her high school years. She then earned a dance scholarship to attend Indiana University, arriving as a “gender-nonconforming” freshman. Cox later transferred to Marymount Manhattan College, graduating with a B.A. in Fine Arts in Dance. Her time in New York City was transformative, as she caught the acting bug and transitioned from being gender-nonconforming to embracing femininity.

Laverne Cox

Breaking Barriers in the Acting Industry

After graduating, Cox pursued her dream of becoming an actress. She faced many rejections but persevered, auditioning for numerous roles. In 2007, Cox saw Candis Cayne’s groundbreaking role in the soap opera “Dirty Sexy Money,” where Cayne became the first openly transgender actor to have a recurring role on a prime-time TV show. Inspired by this, Cox sent out postcards to agents and casting directors, declaring herself as the answer to all their acting needs.

Her persistence paid off, as she landed roles in various productions, including “Law & Order,” a pilot for HBO, and her own show on VH1 called “TRANSform Me.” However, it was her breakout role as Sophia Burset on the hit show “Orange is the New Black” that catapulted her to fame. Cox made history as the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy Award and also appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine.

A Voice for the Transgender Community

Cox’s success as an actress has not only brought her personal fulfillment but has also allowed her to be a powerful advocate for the transgender community. TIME Magazine hailed her portrayal of Sophia Burset as “the most dynamic transgender character in history.” Cox believes that representation is crucial, both for herself as an actress and as an activist. She wants the transgender community to have the opportunity to see themselves on television and be inspired.

Laverne Cox on a magazine cover

Since her breakthrough role, Cox has graced the covers of many magazines and received various acting awards and nominations. Her notable recent acting credits include films such as “Promising Young Woman” (2020) and the upcoming series “Inventing Anna” (2021). Cox’s impact extends beyond her acting career. In 2015, she returned to Indiana University to deliver a speech titled “Ain’t I a Woman,” where she shared her experiences as a member of the transgender community. Cox emphasized the importance of having difficult conversations to educate others and combat misconceptions about transgender individuals.


Q: What are some of Laverne Cox’s notable acting roles?

A: Laverne Cox is well-known for her groundbreaking role as Sophia Burset on the hit show “Orange is the New Black.” She has also appeared in films such as “Promising Young Woman” (2020) and will be starring in the upcoming series “Inventing Anna” (2021).

Q: Why is Laverne Cox considered an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community?

A: Laverne Cox has been a vocal advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, particularly for transgender individuals. She has used her platform as an actress to promote visibility, representation, and awareness for the transgender community.

Q: Has Laverne Cox received any awards for her acting?

A: Yes, Laverne Cox has received numerous awards and nominations for her acting. She made history as the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy Award for her role in “Orange is the New Black.”


Laverne Cox has made an indelible impact as an actress and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Through her groundbreaking roles, she has shattered barriers and brought visibility to transgender individuals. Cox’s passion for representation and education continues to inspire and create a more inclusive world. To learn more about Laverne Cox and other fascinating topics, visit Top Q&A for insightful answers to your burning questions.

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