In a recent appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, actress Laverne Cox made a powerful statement on the rights of trans individuals in the face of a wave of anti-trans legislation being proposed in the United States. Cox spoke out against the overwhelming number of bills targeting trans youth and their ability to access gender-affirming care, an issue often used as an excuse to push back the rights of trans people.
“I exist. There’s no trans question, I am not a question,” Cox said. “I exist here, I have material reality, lived experiences, and trans people have always existed. We’re not going to stop existing.”
Cox also addressed the false claims of transphobic pundits who argue that trans youth are making “irreversible decisions” by accessing hormones and surgeries, stating that in the US and the UK, trans youth are administered physically reversible puberty blockers and are not permitted to undergo surgery until reaching a legally set age.
MSNBC reported that there had been at least 120 anti-LGBTQ+ bills proposed in 2023 so far, with Texas currently holding the top spot with a worrying 36 bills attempting to take away the rights of LGBTQ+ people. A majority of these take aim at transgender women in sporting competitions, while others restrict access to gender-affirming care and attempt to prevent LGBTQ+ discussion in schools.
Cox’s words have given hope to many trans and non-binary Americans who have felt the wave of anti-trans bills proposed across the country in less than a month. As Cox noted, “What adults do with their bodies is none of your business. This is America, it should be about freedom.”
It is crucial that we as a society stand in solidarity with trans individuals and their right to autonomy over their own bodies. The proposed legislation is a clear violation of this fundamental right and must be met with resistance. We must also recognize that these bills not only affect the trans community, but all marginalized communities, as the push for transphobic legislation is often rooted in the same hateful ideologies that drive discrimination against other marginalized groups. We must continue to fight for the rights and dignity of all individuals.