Laverne Cox to speak on gender issues

Laverne Cox, American actress, reality television star, and LGBT advocate will spend time at Sonoma State University on Nov. 12 as part of the Women In Leadership lineup of the On Campus Presents programming at the Green Music Center. 

“We are in a place now where more and more trans people want to come forward and say, ‘This is who I am,’” said Laverne Cox in TIMES magazine.

Cox is best known for her portrayal of Sophia Burset on the Netflix television series “Orange Is the New Black” as a transgender woman who is sent to prison for credit-card fraud. 

First appearing as a contestant on the first season of “I Want to Work for Diddy,” she went on to produce and star in her own TV show, “TRANSform Me.” Both shows were nominated for the GLAAD media awards with “I Want to Work for Diddy” winning in 2009. 

 As the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a primetime Emmy award in the actress category, Cox will use her time to inspire and educate students on the transgender community and share insight and perspective on the changing role of women in leadership. 

“I think it’s incredible that we live in a time where we have a black, female, trans supporting character in an award winning TV series,” said sophomore Colin Chinn. “In addition to that fact, being a queer person myself as well as a strong proponent for human rights, I absolutely love what she is doing in the trans community.”

As the event is already sold out, this marks as the first time the Green Music Center sells out with a majority of the patrons being Sonoma State Students. Early childhood studies major and women’s health minor Jenny Mangandi is looking forward to a special event that relates heavily on what she is in school for. 

“Watching Laverne Cox will allow me to become more educated on the LGBTQ community that she is a part of,” said Mangandi.

Aside from her advocacy tour, Cox will participate in the TV movie remake of the Halloween cult movie, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” in which she plays crossdresser, Dr. Frank-N-Furter. “I’m excited to see who she is as a person,” says communications major Megan Kleszcz.  

The program will include a moderated discussion following with a Q&A. Students will become acquainted with the struggles of being a successful advocate in the community on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m.