Laverne Cox: Caitlyn Jenner Is ‘Beyond Beautiful’
Soon after Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover, in which the Olympian formerly known as Bruce Jenner chose to publicly identify as a woman, made its debut, Cox took to her Tumblr to pen a moving essay about how thrilled she is to see the outpour of support for Jenner and the transgender community. In the lengthy post, Cox praises Jenner for both her inner and outer beauty.
“I am so moved by all the love and support Caitlyn is receiving. It feels like a new day, indeed, when a trans person can present her authentic self to the world for the first time and be celebrated for it so universally,” she wrote. “Many have commented on how gorgeous Caitlyn looks in her photos, how she is ‘slaying for the Gods.’ I must echo these comments in the vernacular, ‘Yasss Gawd! Werk Caitlyn! Get it!'”
Cox, 31, also urged the public to focus on more than just the outer appearance of Jenner and other transgender people. Recalling her Time magazine cover which proclaimed the “The Transgender Tipping Point,” the actress dived deep into the need for more diversity in media so that being beautiful doesn’t mean relying on “cisnormative beauty standards.”
Yes, Caitlyn looks amazing and is beautiful but what I think is most beautiful about her is her heart and soul, the ways she has allowed the world into her vulnerabilities. The love and devotion she has for her family and that they have for her. Her courage to move past denial into her truth so publicly. These things are beyond beautiful to me. A year ago when my Time magazine cover came out I saw posts from many trans folks saying that I am “drop dead gorgeous” and that that doesn’t represent most trans people. (It was news to be that I am drop dead gorgeous but I’ll certainly take it). But what I think they meant is that in certain lighting, at certain angles I am able to embody certain cisnormative beauty standards. Now, there are many trans folks because of genetics and/or lack of material access who will never be able to embody these standards. More importantly many trans folks don’t want to embody them and we shouldn’t have to to be seen as ourselves and respected as ourselves . It is important to note that these standards are also infomed [sic] by race, class and ability among other intersections. I have always been aware that I can never represent all trans people. No one or two or three trans people can. This is why we need diverse media representstions [sic] of trans folks to multiply trans narratives in the media and depict our beautiful diversities.
Cox added that she realizes “most trans folks don’t have the privileges Caitlyn and I have now have” and how the transgender community must continue to “lift up” the stories of those who are struggling in the face of adversity.
“We must lift up the stories of those most at risk, statistically trans people of color who are poor and working class,” she continued. “I have hoped over the past few years that the incredible love I have received from the public can translate to the lives of all trans folks. Trans folks of all races, gender expressions, ability, sexual orientations, classes, immigration status, employment status, transition status, genital status.”
Cox added, “I hope, as I know Caitlyn does, that the love she is receiving can translate into changing hearts and minds about who all trans people are as well as shifting public policies to fully support the lives and well being of all of us.”