With a demagogue for a president and an openly homophobic vice president, this past presidential election has put a spotlight on very outspoken women who understand the necessity to speak bravely and boldly about the possible threat our new government poses. Laverne Cox, is one of those women. As a an actress and trans* activist who has also become a spokesperson for the trans movement, she shared her thoughts at Marie Clare’s Young Women’s Honors event on the Trump presidency, the perceived threat of equal rights for trans* people, immigrants and scarcity narrative as well as what she will say to Trump and Pence if given the opportunity to address either in the future.
“I’ve been trying not to be in a reactionary place. I’ve tried to really sit with myself and really be in a meditative place so that when I come forth and have an opportunity to speak it’s from a place of love and my own truth. That it’s not about being even more divisive or more combative. That it’s really from a place of love. I think we make our voices heard the most when we take the time to really sit in our truth and really know what that truth is and speak from that place.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot—it’s part of the critical thinking I’ve been doing since the election. I’m obviously a progressive and there are lots of people who don’t believe the same things I do. I’ve been thinking a lot about what they might be feeling and I think they’re feeling left out. So many of us feel scarcity. A lot of people think ‘If this undocumented immigrant gets a job they’re taking it from me.’ Or ‘If this transgender person is able to have equal rights and access then they’re taking something from me.’ It’s a scarcity narrative. If we can move from scarcity to abundance in our rhetoric and the ways we see ourselves and each other in the world, I think that will allow us to begin to believe that there’s enough to go around. We can live in this world together because there is enough to go around.
What I’m encouraged by as an artist is that this is a time for us to express our voices even more. These moments when artists can speak truth to power mean much more now than they have. It’s about us continuing to elevate truth, trying to raise people’s consciousness and not trying to divide people. That’s where I think the arts will help most.” – Laverne Cox as told to Marie Claire at their first-ever Young Women’s Honors