Laverne Cox and her friend were the victim of a transphobic attack

Recently, while walking through Griffith Park in Los Angeles with a friend, Laverne Cox was attacked by an unidentified man who was motivated by transphobia.

Laverne, visibly shaken, took to Instagram to recount the story. Laverne doesn’t mention who her friend was, but she said that she and this friend were taking a stroll through the park when a male passerby aggressively asked them what time it was. Laverne said he then proceeded to ask her if she were male or female. Laverne was going to walk away but her friend told the guy off which led to a brief altercation. Below are a few excerpts from Laverne’s Instagram account via Just Jared:

Laverne explained that she and her friend were walking when a man came up to the friend and “aggressively” asked what time it was before asking, “Guy or girl?”.

The friend told the man to “f–k off,” which then triggered the man to start hitting her friend.

“The guy is like hitting my friend, and then my friend is going toward him and I’m like ‘Holy s–t,” Laverne said. “I pull out my phone and I call to dial 911, and all of a sudden it’s over and the guy is gone.”

While reflecting on the incident, Laverne said that she believes the man wanted her to answer his question instead of her friend.

“The guy really wanted me to answer so that he could spook whether I’m trans or not,” Laverne said. “I don’t know why, I don’t know why it matters. At the end of the day, it’s like who cares? I’m in a hoodie and yoga pants, I’m completely covered up, I’ve got my mask on. Who cares if I’m trans? How does this affect your life?”

She added: “This dude was looking for trouble…because I happened to be a trans person in public. None of this is new, but it’s still just kind of like…why do you need to be aggressive?”

[From Just Jared]

This is absolutely appalling. Especially, since many trans activists have been shining a light on the alarming death rate of black trans women throughout the U.S. As Laverne says, why does it matter if she is trans or not? The fact that this passerby felt a need to ask Laverne a question in order to clock if she was trans or not is frightening. The Hate Crimes Prevention Act needs to be more widely enforced, and hopefully it will be under the Biden administration.

It angers me that trans women have to worry about this sort of violence and that there is nothing done about it. Thankfully Laverne had her friend with her because god only knows what would have transpired. Then again the as*hole in the park was willing to show aggression towards Laverne despite that. Unfortunately, Laverne was unable to get a picture or video of the man to report the incident.

I am glad Laverne is ok physically. Hopefully, she will be able to heal mentally and emotionally from this traumatic experience. In the meantime, I do hope that the incoming administration does something about this crisis that trans people, particularly black trans women, are facing. The fact that Biden tweeted support on Transgender Day of Remembrance gives me hope.

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20 Responses to “Laverne Cox and her friend were the victim of a transphobic attack”

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  1. Sa says:

    This is a terrible story but I’m glad they’re okay, physically at least. I will never understand people who feel entitled to commit violence against another person for just living their life.

  2. Rapunzel says:

    I’m cisgender, but had a similar experience with a man asking me if I was a man or woman. It was the weirdest thing, and I didn’t know how to react. I basically fled. I can’t imagine how it could’ve gone if I’d engaged with that person in conversation. I’m glad Laverne wasn’t alone. And that she is safe.

  3. Jess says:

    Why do people care?! I’ll never understand that kind of hatred:(

  4. Joanna says:

    Why can’t people just mind their own business? Even if you don’t agree ? I just don’t get it. So sad that happened to Laverne and her friend.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Agreed, that’s something that needs to be taught early in life. It’s sad that some of the same feminists who attack the trans community, as well as those quick to defend those types from ‘reverse discrimination’, will likely either ignore or downplay attacks like this.

  5. Courtney B says:

    It happened to one of the most visible members of the transgender community. Makes you really think about what it’s like out there for others, especially those on the streets. 🙁

    • Anna says:

      This :…(

    • My3cents says:

      Yes, and In LA,not some small bigoted hicks town.

    • lucy2 says:


      I’m so glad Laverne and her friend are physically OK, but that had to be very scary.
      I don’t get it. What is wrong with a person that they are so angry and insecure that they feel the need to confront and attack someone just out there living their life?

  6. BnLurkN4eva says:

    I think people who go looking to attack another person in this manner have a great deal of self hatred. Why ask a total stranger their gender and then be hostile about it, who but someone filled with hate would do that.

  7. Joy says:

    These right wing maniacs have me scared and I’m not even trans. I’m just a really tall woman. They’re so insane they probably think any woman over 5′ 5″ is suspicious.

    • Jojo says:

      I have a cousin who is also tall , she’s 6’2″ but I think she had on heels when this happened .And some idiot told her she didn’t belong in the ladies bathroom.She thought my cousin was a Transwoman.My cousin was in a small town in East Texas when this happened.My cousin cursed her out and the lady threatened to get security but security never came.
      People need to mind their own business.

  8. Aang says:

    This is so scary. I hope Laverne is ok. My trans son is short but pretty muscular and hairy. He keeps his hair long and in a braid like the men from my family’s tribe. We were walking down the street, as an entire family, and some guys slowed down and started yelling transphobic slurs and commenting on what a hairy girl he is. They did that in broad daylight, on a crowded city street, in front of his parents. I shudder to think what they would do to him if no one was watching.

    • My3cents says:

      Sending your family love & positivity.
      I also have a trans son, he is still in the stages of his transition and this is the thing that scares me so much.
      How ever much love and support we give him I know there will be a time he will probably face hostility from his environment.

  9. liz says:

    As the parent of a non-binary teenager, this absolutely terrifies me. And infuriates me.

    Why does it matter how a person identifies or presents themselves? It has no impact on how someone else lives their life? Outside of particular medical situations, there is no reason to ask someone their gender. My child’s androgynous presentation is no one’s business but their own (and mine, since I’m still buying a lot of their clothes for them).

  10. Milkweed says:

    Laverne and her friend did not deserve that. So that hater was out for a hike and turned it into a transphobic attack? That is so weird.

  11. Liz version 700 says:

    This is enraging. People need to mind their own business and bodies. We had a woman attacked in MD at a McDonalds for being transgender and she gave an interview relating that she is basically afraid to leave the house now. It was gutting. Imagine if we could have a world where people could be themselves without being kicked out of families, beaten or worse.

  12. Watson says:

    This is so sad

  13. YAS says:

    So terrible that this occurred to her and her friend, but glad they weren’t physically harmed. People really need to learn to mind their own business. Whether she’s trans or not absolutely has no impact on that hateful gremlin’s life in any way shape or form.