Laverne Cox was one of the breakout stars of Orange Is the New Black, which was itself the breakout small-screen hit of the summer. As Sophia Burset, the former firefighter who gave “five years, $80,000, and my freedom” to inhabit the female body she always knew she belonged in, Cox brings humor, gravitas, and realness.
Last night in a knockout segment on FXX’s Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell, Cox thanked the trans women who made her success possible—Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson,* who were at Stonewall, and Candis Cayne, the trans actress who made history with her role in Dirty, Sexy Money. At one point, Bell says, “I feel like you gave me just a whole list of names to go home and Google.” First Bell. Then America.
*Correction, Sept. 13, 2013: This post originally misspelled Marsha P. Johnson's forename.