Newly out actress Ellen Page presented Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles this weekend. The Award is presented to an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) media professional who has made a significant difference in moving equality forward, and Cox’s mom made a surprise appearance on stage. Cox said, ”I’m so moved by the work that GLAAD has been doing, particularly over the past year, to make sure that the ‘T’ is not silent in the LGBT community. For years, I was trying to have a career as an actor doing what I love to do most and was told repeatedly that they didn’t know what to do with me, and that I would not work.”
On February 13, Facebook gave the U.S. LGBT community the best Valentine’s Day gift ever when they added 50 new custom gender options for those who live outside the usual female-male binary. I didn’t even know there were 50 options, but for the approximately 700,000 Americans who identify as trans, this historic change is a boon. In a social media world where we share where we are, who we’re with, how we feel, and what is that thing we’re eating, trans folks can finally share the most basic fact of all: Who we are.
"For people who have a real gender dysphoria that just takes their whole life over, if they learn to find the beauty in themselves even though they feel trapped in the body they’re in, that’s an amazing accomplishment. And I think you learn a lot about yourself by doing that and I think you also learn that there is a spectrum and not a binary. But having said that, I think transitioning is a really important option. I don’t think everyone needs to go through the pain of trying to live in the body they don’t want to live in. Some people really can’t and they’re going to die and so they need to go through a change. Or some people are just going to be really unhappy. They might be able to find some sort of acceptance or peace of mind but they’re never going to have the bliss of feeling their body and their spirit match. Then there’s people like me, if transitioning had been part of the conversation in my early life, it would have been something I would have strongly considered and might have even done,but I didn’t know about it, so I just struggled through and there was a reason for that. And I’m satisfied now. Everybody’s different, so there’s no judgment, but I do think in that the struggle to find your peace, there’s always something to be gained."