On Thursday, Time magazine released its latest cover: Orange Is The New Black star Laverne Cox, a transgender activist, standing in full dress, with the headline: “The Transgender Tipping Point: America’s next civil rights frontier.”
The interview with Cox that accompanies the cover has Cox discoursing on “politics, happiness and why genitalia isn’t destiny.”
Now a star on the Netflix drama Orange Is the New Black, she has emerged as a public leader of the trans movement, using her increasingly prominent perch to make the case for equal rights and touring the country giving a stump speech titled “Ain’t I A Woman?” When Cox says it, that refrain is not a question.
Constantly in search of the “next civil rights frontier,” Time never discusses the fact that transgender surgeries do nothing to reduce rates of suicide, never considers the perspective that genital mutilation is not a solution to mental issues, and simply labels Cox a “she” despite the fact that every cell in Cox’s body contains a Y chromosome.
Cox explains that his/her story is important because we are all “insecure about our gender”:
They think, ‘Okay, if there’s this trans person over here, then what does that make me?’ We want to just coast along in a belief system that makes us feel secure, because we are a culture, as Brene Brown would say, that is intolerant to vulnerability. And if we are in a position where we have to begin to question this very basic idea of ‘A man has a penis and a woman has a vagina,’ then that’s a lot of vulnerability.
Welcome to the culture shift.