This Is What Love Means to Laverne Cox

Spreading love is now more important than ever.

Laverne Cox recently teamed up with Marriott Rewards to unveil their new #LoveTravels collaborative art installation in Washington D.C., celebrating original art work submitted from over 3,000 individuals around the globe that reflect expressions of love. As a member of the LGBT community, the Orange Is the New Black actress is dedicated in helping trans people be heard in the world by promoting positivity and love through the #LoveTravels campaign.

“It’s the expression of respect. For me, love without respect isn’t really love,” she told Celebuzz. “It’s about really seeing and knowing someone. When we love someone, we deeply see and know them.”

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection,” she continued, quoting author Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection. “Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them — we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.”

“Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.”

The 32-year-old also spoke to us about the importance of raising each other up. Praising Ruby Curado, a transgender woman who founded Casa Ruby to provide life-saving services to transgender residents who are most vulnerable in the D.C. area, for creating such a vast support system, Cox said “it’s never about just having one thing” to rely on for strength.

“I don’t leave everything to just one person. I have a beautiful support network,” she told us. “I’ve had so many trans folk in my life who’ve loved and supported me and helped show me the way.”

“We have a tradition that our family hasn’t always been supportive and we created our own family,” she explained. “LGBT people have been doing for decades and I’m so happy to help Marriott and Love Travels to honor her.”

Marriott Rewards #LoveTravels recently announced a $25,000 donation to support Casa Ruby.

Looking back at her own journey, Cox acknowledged that she’s been “so blessed” to have encountered so many loving people — something that other trans people may not have had the opportunity to do in their lives.

“It’s about little things for me. When people are showing up for me and supporting me in my work, it means the world to me,” she said. “A lot of trans people aren’t as blessed as I am.”

She added, “Having someone to share that with is really important. Having a partner that flies to another country to see me on set is pretty magical.”

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