On this date, we celebrate Transgender Visibility Day and recognize our trans brothers and sisters as we stand with them in solidarity. On the one hand, whereas we have come a long overall in the societal acceptance of LGBTQ+ people, transgender citizens still face a litany of civil liberty obstacles.
We are living in a dichotomy in 2020, where we must navigate through hideous news headlines of attacks against transgender women, while trailblazing trans actresses MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Angelica Ross, and Dominique Jackson have become the toast of Hollywood due to positive trans portrayals on the hit FX show, Pose.
As with most marginalized groups that finally find liberation through the advocacy efforts of its leaders, the transgender community is no different. One of the most transformative voices of the plight is three-time Emmy nominee Laverne Cox.
I interviewed Cox for Instinct Magazine a few months ago. She was lovely, fierce, and personable as we covered a range of topics – from her childhood on Mobile, Alabama to her today, finding herself nominated for an Emmy Award, up against the likes of the legendary Cicely Tyson and Phyllisia Rashaad.
At the time of my conversation with Cox, she was finishing the final season of Orange is the New Black, and starring on the hit show A Black Lady Sketch Show and Dear White People. Cox is also the Executive Producer of a powerful new documentary, Disclosure, Trans Lives On Screen, which she likens to the critically acclaimed, Celluloid Closet – an iconic film that examines the theme of homosexuality in Hollywood films.
As recently as Fall 2019, Cox was still independently crowdsourcing funding to complete the documentary. Similarly to Celluloid Closet, Disclosure takes a close look at how trans people have been represented on film over the last 100 years, as well as the societal impact of those representations.
By year’s end, the hard work and passion for the project paid off, and Cox completed Disclosure. The documentary went on to make an impressive debut at the top film festivals, including Sundance and the Tribecca Film Fest.
Check Out Interviews from Sundance Film Festival with the filmmakers of Disclosure, Trans Lives On Film:
Making an impact on society and on a global level is essential to Cox, who does not only bring a level of social consciousness to her work as an actress but also in her on-going advocacy work and corporate brand collaborations that focus on diversity.
Thank you, Laverne Cox, for your commitment to the good fight as a leading advocate for trans visibility.
Check out our discussion with Laverne about the documentary, Disclosure, Trans Lives On Screen:
Through April 5th, Disclosure, Trans Lives On Film can be streamed at BFI.or.uk