Laverne Cox Says She and a Friend Were Targeted in Transphobic Attack While Hiking

Laverne Cox
Emma McIntyre /AMA2020/Getty Images

According to the 'Orange Is the New Black' actress, a frightening incident occurred in Los Angeles over the weekend.

Laverne Cox is "definitely in shock" after she says she was targeted in a transphobic attack while walking through Griffith Park with a friend. The Orange Is the New Black actress took to Instagram Live on Saturday to share her story.

According to Cox, she and a male friend went for a socially distanced stroll through the popular park, when another man walked by and "aggressively asked for the time."

"The friend that I’m with looks at his watch and tells him the time, and then the guy who asked for the time says to my friend: ‘Guy or girl?'” Cox said, indicating that the man was referring to the actress. "My friend says, ‘F**k off'... then all of a sudden, the guy was attacking my friend."

Cox said the stranger hit her friend several times, and so she pulled out her phone to call the police.

"I pull out my phone and I call to dial 911, and all of a sudden it’s over and the guy is gone," Cox shared.

The actress went on to explain that, after having time to process the incident, both she and her friend came to the conclusion that the attacker had meant his question about the time for Cox, and that she may have been the intended target for a similar attack.

"This dude was looking for trouble... because I happened to be a trans person in public," Cox said. "That's all it felt like."

Cox said that, despite being the target of transphobic remarks and behavior in the past and seeing it happen to many others, she was still deeply disturbed by the incident.

"This isn't shocking to me – obviously, this is my life. I've dealt with this a lot, but it never fails to be shocking," she said. "If doesn't matter who you are. You can be, like, Laverne Cox, whatever that means. If you're trans, you're going to experience stuff like this."

Ultimately Cox said she and her friend were "fine" following the run-in, but she encouraged others who may be the targets of similar attacks to not feel bad about themselves because of it.

"When these things happen, it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault that people are not cool with you existing in the world," Cox shared. "We have a right to walk in the park."