Orange is the New Black breakout star, Laverne Cox, covers the latest issue of Vibe Vixen. In the mag she talks about her role as Sophia on Netflix’s hit series, her experiences being a transgender woman in Hollywood, and bullying.
Check out a few excerpts.
Who has your transition been the hardest on?
My mom had a weird adjustment period with it. A lot of it was just educating her. It took years to get her to use the right pronouns. Anytime there is surgery and hormones, it freaked her out a bit, but I wouldn’t say it was hard on her or anyone. Before I started the medications and surgical procedures, I didn’t have people in my life that would have a problem. For the people that know me, this wasn’t a weird thing. It wasn’t like this was out of the blue. They always knew who I was. I’m really the same person.
How has the overnight success of Orange is the New Black changed your life?
My entire life is different. It’s been wild—people recognize me when I walk down the street, in bars and restaurants. It’s a good thing and I’m really excited. Right now I’m doing a college tour, speaking engagements, and the anti-bullying Spirits Day, which raises awareness against ending bullying against the LGBT community and different groups.
What can you tell us about your worst experience with bullying?
When I grew up in Alabama, I was called a sissy, a fag and kids basically wanted to beat me up every day. There was a time in middle school when some kids hit my brother and I with drumsticks and a parent from the school saw it. We knew we could never tell our mother because she would blame us and question why we weren’t fighting back, but the principal called her. It was really awful and painful.
How supportive was your twin brother through the transitioning process?
He’s amazing. It’s never been an issue for him. He loves me and wants me to be happy. He gets it. He’s a musician with a beautiful voice and an absolutely wonderful performer.
You can read the full interview here. Check out some photos from the feature below!