Actress Laverne Cox and a friend were attacked last Saturday while walking through Griffith Park in Los Angeles.
In an Instagram video, Cox described the encounter that occurred as she and a male friend were walking through the park. According to Cox, a man “very aggressively” asked them for the time and, once they told him, he then asked “Guy or girl?”
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“The friend that I’m with looks at his watch and tells him the time,” she said in the video, “and then the guy who asked for the time says to my friend: ‘Guy or girl?’ My friend says: ‘F**k off.’”
Unfortunately, the situation escalated. After the friend told the man to leave them alone, the man proceeded to swing at him. As it was happening, Cox called 911, but she says, “all of a sudden it’s over and the guy is gone.”
In the video, Cox talks about how she was certain the man was trying to get her to give him the time so that he could try to tell “whether I’m trans or not.” She added that this is something that happens to her often, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less hurtful and transphobic. And even though she’s Emmy Award-winning and a famous celebrity, Cox reiterated that she’s still often a target of transphobic comments and situations.
“It doesn’t matter who you are — you can be, like, Laverne Cox, whatever that means,” she said in the video. “If you’re trans, you’re going to experience stuff like this.”
Cox and her friend, who she kept anonymous, were left physically okay despite the man’s attempts to punch them. However, the pair were left in shock, and Cox was left wondering if there was maybe more that she could do. At the end of the video, she addresses this, imploring others who may feel the same way to remember that there’s no “right” thing to do in the situation — it’s more important to keep yourself safe however you can in the moment.
“I started blaming myself,” she said. “We were walking in the park. We weren’t doing anything. I think it’s important to remind myself and remind you that when these things happen, it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault that there are people not cool with you existing in the world.”