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“Ain’t I a Woman: My Journey Into Womanhood” with Laverne Cox

Orange is the New Black’s Laverne Cox to Address Vanderbilt Community for National Coming Out Week

The LGBTQI Life Office of Vanderbilt University is pleased to announce that Laverne Cox will be featured as this year’s National Coming Out Week (NCOW) speaker on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 at 7 PM in the Student Life Center Conference Center.  This event is free and open to the public.

In the Netflix original series, Orange is the New Black, Cox plays Sophia Burset, an incarcerated transgender woman of color.  She is the first trans* woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show.  Cox is also the first trans* woman of color to produce and star in her own television show, VH1’s critically acclaimed TRANSForm Me. Cox has been featured as the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival’s 2013 Best Supporting Actress and has been nominated for various GLAAD Media Awards.  She has also been featured in Law and Order, Law and Order: SVU, Bored to Death, and the independent films Carla and The Exhibitionists.

In her speech “Ain’t I a Woman: My Journey to Womanhood,” Cox explores how the intersections of race, class, and gender uniquely affect the lives of trans* women of color.  Laverne draws from her own personal story and how issues of race, class, and gender affect how she has been able to navigate the world.  From growing up in Mobile, Alabama and being raised by a single mother in a Christian family, to attending college in New York City to pursue a career as an actress, to finally finding the courage to step into the womanhood she always knew at heart was her destiny, Cox tells the story of the unique challenges along her journey to womanhood, professional achievement, self-acceptance, and love.

Paid parking for the event is available at the West Street garage. University policy stipulates that minors must be accompanied by an adult.

Cox will be the featured speaker in a full schedule of National Coming Out Week events including a Safe Zone Workshop, movie screening, and the LAMBDA Drag Show.  See www.vanderbilt.edu/lgbtqi for details of all Vanderbilt University NCOW events.