I have some choice words for Kevin D. Williamson, roving correspondent of the National Review. Kevin wrote an article for the online publication, which was reprinted in the Chicago Sun-Times, stating that actress and activist Laverne Cox is not a woman.
Yeah, I know, let that sink in for a minute. This white male is trying to tell anyone who will listen that the revolutionary transgender activist is in fact not the gender she identifies with simply because she was born with male genitals. I am literally clutching my chest with dismay right now.
I can’t even fathom what kind of person thinks he has the right to assign a particular gender to another human being. Gender identity is an extremely personal issue. People should be allowed to form their own opinions and sense of self in his or her own way. Some of us are outgoing and open about our gender; some of us are more private. Luckily, Laverne Cox has been outspoken about her journey transitioning from male to female. Best known for her role as Sophia Burset on Netflix’s original series Orange is the New Black, Cox is also the first African-American transgender person to produce and star in her own TV show, TRANSform Me.
Cox is a prominent voice for the transgender community, speaking out about issues many people face in the Huffington Post, as well as appearing on the June 9th 2014 cover of Time. She is arguably the first outspoken transgender icon of our time, and for Williamson to degrade her and everything she’s accomplished in a few short words is just a shitty thing to do, in my opinion.
If you want to read the article, you can find it here. If you want to skip it, I’ll tell you what you missed: Williamson refers to Cox as a “he” the entire article, misgendering her and calling transgendered people “a phenomenon.”
Here’s a particular barf-worthy quote:
“Regardless of the question of whether he has had his genitals amputated, Cox is not a woman, but an effigy of a woman. Sex is a biological reality, and it is not subordinate to subjective impressions, no matter how intense those impressions are, how sincerely they are held, or how painful they make facing the biological facts of life. No hormone injection or surgical mutilation is sufficient to change that."
It sucks we’re giving this guy more attention than he deserves. Instead, we should bury this article in the transphobic dirt after Laverne's stylish stilettos smash it to smithereens. But if this article slips by without anyone calling it out for its blatant discrimination and misrepresentation of the trans community, then people like Williamson will continually think it’s okay to say things like this. Young transgender kids will read similar articles and think that they’re freaks, and that is not okay.
We need to teach acceptance and compassion, not hate. Articles like this, even written analytically, are hateful and ultimately label an entire group of people as delusional. Laverne Cox is helping more people than Williamson ever will with his obvious ploy for attention. She is a goddess and shan't be bothered by this bullshit.
Photos Courtesy of Facebook, Netflix, and The Boston Calander
Mary Rockcastle is a florist, illustrator, and craftswoman living in Rochester, New York. She’s the sole founder of Little Lamb Studios, and #1 biggest fan of all dogs.