Laverne Cox Expertly Handles Wendy Williams' Asinine Questions About Being Trans
Fresh off changing the world by gracing the cover of Time Magazine, Orange Is The New Black's Laverne Cox headed to the Wendy Williams show to lob silly grade-school questions with the usual dignity and class. It's difficult choosing which of Wendy's ignorant questions made me flinch the most while watching, but I guess I'll go with, "You've got breast implants?"
There's a lot to pick at here, if you are so inclined. Echoes of Cox's Katie Couric interview (alongside Carmen Carrera) from earlier this year are there in Williams' question about Cox's body. Using "transgender" as a noun and not an adjective (to modify "person") is a no-no, says Buzzfeed. One does not "decide" one's gender (though Williams' question is poorly stated, she could be asking about transitioning sex). And why on earth is Chaz Bono relevant to their conversation other than the fact that Bono is another transgender person that Williams has heard of?
Even something like, "What is transgender?," while clearly asked for the benefit of the truly ignorant in Williams' audience, just goes to show the burden Cox has as one of the few famous trans people in our culture (and any culture, really): She has to repeatedly explain what she is before she can even get to who.
But within Cox's answers lie so much about who she is as a person. She is unflappable. If she is sick of repeatedly answering the same questions, you wouldn't know it. She has such grace that she can correct you without you even knowing it. On the subject of her breasts, she told Williams:
Off camera, I can talk to you, but I've chosen not to talk about any of the stuff I've gotten done, because I think so often when trans people's experiences are talked about, we far too often focus on surgery and transition, so I don't talk about that. But I'm very happy with the situation.
Imagine if everyone answered ignorance with patience and compassion.