Laverne Cox says she and a friend were targeted in a transphobic attack while taking a walk at Griffith Park in Los Angeles.
In an IGTV video posted this weekend, she said she and her friend were taking a socially distanced walk when they encountered a man who aggressively asked them for the time.
"The friend that I'm with looks at his watch and tells him the time, and then the guy who asked for the time says to my friend: 'Guy or girl?'" Cox said. "My friend says, 'Fuck off.'"
At that point, she said, the man began attacking her friend, hitting him several times. Cox said she took out her phone to call 911, but by that point, the attack was over and the man had run off.
"The guy really wanted me to answer so that he could spook whether I'm trans or not," Cox said. "I don't know why, I don't know why it matters. At the end of the day, it's like who cares? I'm in a hoodie and yoga pants, I'm completely covered up, I've got my mask on — who cares if I'm trans? How does this affect your life?"
"It's not safe in the world. And I don't like to think about that a lot, but it's the truth," she added. "It's the truth and it's not safe if you're a trans person. Obviously, I know this well. It's just really sad."
According to the Human Rights Campaign, a record number of transgender and gender-nonconforming people have been killed by violence this year. The HRC has recorded at least 39 violent deaths of transgender or gender non-conforming people this year in the U.S., but notes that the number is likely higher because of those unreported or misgendered in media or police reports.
For ways to support Black transgender people, consider donating to one of the following organizations:
The Okra Project is an organization that provides resources and meals to Black trans people.
Transgender Law Center is an organization working to change policy and law to protect and advance the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming people.
Black Trans Travel Fund works to provide Black trans women with financial resources for safe transportation alternatives.
INCITE! works to end violence against women of color and trans people of color.
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