Laverne Cox opened up about a transphobic attack she faced in Los Angeles on Sunday, November 29. The Orange Is the New Black actress went live on Instagram afterward, talking through the “shock.” Cox and a friend were socially distanced hiking at L.A.’s Griffith Park, “trying to be a little incog-negro” in a black mask and black hoodie. “We pass this guy, and the guy very aggressively asks for the time,” she said, adding that the New Yorker in her just kept walking. But her friend paused to give him the time, hoping he’d just move on. “Then the guy who had asked for the time asks my friend ‘Guy or girl?’” she continued. “My friend says ‘Fuck off.’ I’m walking, I’m hearing all this is happening like in a split second and then all of a sudden the guy is attacking my friend.” Her friend de-escalated the situation, and by the time she pulled out her phone to call 911, the guy was gone. “I’m very lucky and grateful that my friend was there and wanted to protect me,” she said.
Cox said she and her friend are both now safe but that violent transphobia “never fails to be shocking.” “So I think it’s important for me to remind myself, and remind you, that when these things happen, it’s not your fault,” she finished. “It’s not your fault that there are people who are not cool with you existing in the world.”