“Orange is the New Black” Star Laverne Cox Comes to Hollins for Sold-Out Appearance

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A sold-out Hollins Theatre welcomed critically acclaimed actress and transgender advocate Laverne Cox to campus on Sunday, September 28.

The star of the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black talked about the importance of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically.

Cox is the first transgender woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show. She plays Sophia Burset, an incarcerated African American transgender woman whom Time magazine named the fourth most influential fictional character of 2013.

In July, Cox was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, thus becoming the first transgender actress to receive an Emmy nomination.

Cox won Best Supporting Actress at the 2013 Massachusetts Independent Film Festival for her work in the acclaimed film Musical Chairs. Her other acting credits include the television series Law and Order, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, and Bored to Death, as well as the independent films Carla and The Exhibitionists.

Cox’s insights have been featured on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NPR, HLN, and VH1. She was named one of Out magazine’s “Out 100,” one of the country’s top 50 trans icons by The Huffington Post, and one of Metro Source magazine’s “55 People We Love.” Her critical writings have appeared in The Advocate and The Huffington Post.

Cox’s appearance at Hollins was sponsored by the Hollins Activity Board and the Darci Ellis Godhard Fund for Social Justice.