Transgender “Orange is the New Black” actress Laverne Cox said she was immensely moved by the enthusiastic reception of Caitlin Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover, but stressed that it’s Jenner’s soul and extraordinary inner strength that should be celebrated over her appearance.
“Yes, Caitlyn looks amazing and is beautiful, but what I think is most beautiful about her is her heart and soul, the ways she has allowed the world into her vulnerabilities,” Cox wrote in a Tumblr post. “The love and devotion she has for her family and that they have for her. Her courage to move past denial into her truth so publicly. These things are beyond beautiful to me.”
She’s not implying that the public response would have been any less charitable if Jenner wasn’t such a knockout as a woman — but one has to wonder.
“A year ago when my Time magazine cover came out I saw posts from many trans folks saying that I am ‘drop dead gorgeous,’ and that doesn’t represent most trans people,” Cox wrote. “There are many trans folks because of genetics and/or lack of material access who will never be able to embody these standards. More importantly many trans folks don’t want to embody them and we shouldn’t have to to be seen as ourselves and respected as ourselves.”
Jenner, a former Olympian and reality star, has no doubt become a trans icon since declaring herself a woman on 20/20 in April, but Cox argues will never represent the community as a whole. Although their publicity has served as a huge stepping stone for national acceptance, neither she or Jenner will be enough.
“I have always been aware that I can never represent all trans people. No one or two or three trans people can,” Cox wrote. “This is why we need diverse media representations of trans folks.”