Laverne Cox talks #MeToo and intersectionality

She says trans women often are not believed

Laverne Cox
Laverne Cox attends the Lip Sync Battle LIVE: A Michael Jackson Celebration at Dolby Theatre on January 18, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images)

Recently, Laverne Cox opened up on Katie Couric‘s podcast about the #MeToo movement and how more people can be included and feel that their voices and stories matter as well.

“I think we can always be more intersectional. We can always include more people. I don’t just experience the world as a trans woman. I experience the world as a Black person. I have multiple identities,” Cox said.

In the podcast, she went on to explain that trans women and women of color often have to fight harder for their stories to be believed.

For example, she pointed out that Harvey Weinstein didn’t deny any accusations until Lupita Nyong’o came forward.

“And I think, this can’t be a coincidence. Her Blackness can’t be a coincidence,” Cox said.

She then added that trans women often aren’t believed either: “I notice when some trans women have come forward and say that they have been sexually assaulted there has been a different tenor in terms of the ways they’ve been believed as opposed to other women who are not trans.”

Cox expressed her hope that the movement could expand and grow to be more inclusive, but noted that the movement needed to grow to effect real change: “It’s not just about including trans women, including women of color, including folks with disabilities or folks who are incarcerated, including all of these folks. But it’s, what does it mean to have these folks in leadership positions and decision-making roles?”

–Harvey Weinstein responds to Lupita Nyong’o harassment claims–

We need to talk to men about consent

Cox also told Couric that, with the growing movement, there needed to be a conversation with men about consent.

She recalled an experience confronting a man about a non-consensual experience. “What was interesting to me … is that he had no idea that his behavior was predatory, that he didn’t have consent. And I think so often the idea of consent is something that men aren’t really clear about,” she said.

But, she said, while it’s important to include men in the movement and to have that conversation about consent, women’s voice still needed to be heard first and foremost.

“For far too often we’ve listened to men and not listened to women. We’re at a point now where women are finally being believed and heard and we have to continue that. That doesn’t mean — because I love men — that doesn’t mean we hate men. That doesn’t mean to sort of demonize men. But we have to foreground the voices and experiences of women.”