Laverne Cox, Janet Mock Talk Stigma of Loving Transgender Women

Finally, we get perspectives from transgender women and not just the society that shuns those who date them.

By Jamilah King Sep 13, 2013

Transgender activists Laverne Cox and Janet Mock joined scholar Mark Anthony Neal and The Nation’s Mychal Denzel Smith for a discussion on HuffPost Live about DJ Mister Cee’s latest scandal. The famous New York City DJ resigned from his post as host of Hot 97 after a blogger posted a video of an encounter he alleges to have had with Mister Cee in which the longtime radio personality solicited sex for money.

The HuffPost Live conversation was an interesting one because instead of talking about Mister Cee, the guests focused on how we’re talking about him. "There’s consistently an erasure of trans identity when we have these discussions," said Cox, who’s skyrocketed to stardom because of her pioneering role on the Netflix series "Orange is the New Black." "The reason I’m here," Cox continued, "is because whenever we have these discussions, trans women’s voices are not included…. The extent to which men who date us or are attracted to us is so intense."

Mock argued a similar point in a critical essay that she published on her blog:

The shame that society attaches to these men, specifically attacking their sexuality and shaming their attraction, directly affects trans women. It affects the way we look at ourselves. It amplifies our body-image issues, our self-esteem, our sense of possibility, of daring for greatness, of aiming for something or somewhere greater.