Recently out Academy-Award nominated actress Ellen Page is presenting the award to Cox.
Cox has been a dedicated and strong advocate of trans rights — specifically rights for trans women of color who often times experience violence, unemployment, poverty and other forms of discrimination.
“Laverne Cox has reshaped the way Americans see transgender people and raised the bar in diverse representations of the LGBT community in entertainment,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a press release.
Page said Cox is not only an advocate off the screen, but on the screen too — playing Sophia Burset, a trans female convict.
“She is not only a talented actress, but a truly transformational leader in the LGBT equality movement. Through her tireless commitment to building understanding and acceptance through education and advocacy, Laverne is moving equality forward both on and off the screen.”
But her advocacy doesn’t end there. She’s creating a documentary, “Free CeCe,” on CeCe McDonald, a black trans woman viscously attacked by older white men and protected herself and her friends — killing one of the men in self defense. And then, unjustly sentenced to 41 months in a men’s prison.
Cox’s success is great, but she told Ebony she’s not taking it to the head.
“I am so grateful for all of this and I try to enjoy the attention as much as I can. But staying grounded is a process because all of this can be really overwhelming,“ she said.
She added, “My therapist reminds me to not let the praise define me, because if I do, I’ll take the negative things that people say and allow that to define me as well. If I touch just one person, then I have done something good.”