Actress and activist Laverne Cox has spoken out about violence against the transgender community in a moving video on Instagram.
The 46-year-old took to the social media platform to post what was supposed to be a “fun, light video” of herself dancing. But she soon began to break down in tears, admitting that “sometimes you just have to cry”.
“It's insanely painful to keep reading reports of trans folks being murdered. My entire life, I feel like I have had to live with the reality of violence against trans people as if it's just something we have to accept but it's unacceptable,” she wrote [sic].
“No one's life should be in danger simply for being who they are. But if you are a person of colour, a trans pr gender nonconforming person or both this is so sadly the case.”
The ‘Orange Is the New Black’ actress later goes on to encourage others to speak out amid the violence and stay positive in order to bring an end to discrimination.
“Let's give ourselves space to grieve, to be sad, to be messy in healthy ways. Then let's continue to plot how we are going to make change in our parts of the world, in our communities, in our hearts and minds and in our public policies that can end the structural and interpersonal violence that's taking far too many lives...”
The video comes amid news that Michelle Simone became the third black transgender woman to be fatally spot on May 19 in the United States over the course of a week.
Her death is the fifth known murder of a transgender person in the US this year alone.
A number of social media users took to the post to thank Cox for opening up about the growing violence.
“Your vulnerability has and continues to be a light. It’s essential to honour where we are,” one wrote [sic]. “Only by acknowledging the present can we move forward. This is a scary time for the trans community, for our black trans sisters, but you have saved so many lives through your work and presence. I am grateful for you. Sending love.”
“This is beautiful,” another commented. “Thank you for sharing all your vulnerability!”
A third wrote, “So sad to see that in 2019 people still get hurt or even killed just for being who they are.”
“Even though this doesn't effect me directly I'm thinking about all the people who loose their lives everyday and hope that the trans/non-binary community stays strong. Spread love not hate people!”