Transgender Icon Laverne Cox Nominated for an Emmy

July 10, 2014 by Noël Gordon, Foundation Project Manager

It’s official, historic and inspiring—Laverne Cox has been nominated for an Emmy award, becoming the first openly transgender nominee.  Cox was nominated for her portrayal of Sophia Burset in the Netflix hit series show “Orange is the New Black.”


Cox’s nomination comes after an incredible year in her career. Most recently, the actress made history as the first transgender person to appear on the cover of Time magazine. Cox has also appeared on prominent talk shows around the country, using her platform to raise awareness and increase understanding of the lived experiences of transgender people.

Cox’s advocacy is particularly focused on bringing national attention to the issues facing transgender women of color. The Grand Marshall of New York City Pride last month, Cox invited Dolores Nettles—mother of transgender woman Islan Nettles--to march beside her in the annual parade. In August of 2013, Islan Nettles was murdered in New York City in what many advocates understand to be a hate crime.

A recent report out of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) documented 18 anti-LGBTQ homicides last year. Of those homicide victims, almost three-quarters (72%) were transgender women, and more than two-thirds (67%) of homicide victims were transgender women of color.

“Simply put, Laverne Cox is incredible for our movement and for our community,” said Jay Brown, HRC Director of Foundation Program Strategies. “When I was a kid, I had no language to explain who I was. I felt very much alone. Laverne Cox gives countless people out there a window into a future full of possibilities.”

Brown added, “She’s doing even more than that. She’s uplifting the realities transgender people face, especially those whose voices are all too often diminished and discounted. She’s an amazing advocate.”

A fierce advocate and monumental actress, HRC wishes Laverne Cox the best of luck at the Emmy Awards on August 25th. To see the full list of Emmy nominees, click here.

HRC is committed to providing resources, support, and advocacy for the transgender community. To read more about HRCs work on behalf of the transgender community or to find out more, click here.