All about Laverne Cox’s twin M Lamar, who is a proud ally to his transgender sister

M Lamar (left) with his twin sister Laverne Cox (right)

You might have heard of transgender actress and LGBTQ+ advocate Laverne Cox, but did you also know about her twin brother M Lamar, who is a fierce LGBTQ+ ally?

Cox’s twin brother has always been incredibly supportive of his sister, especially when she came out, as well as during her transition. Cox previously told the Windy City Times that the two share “a wonderful bond”.

Born Reginald Lamar, Cox’s brother is best known by his stage name M Lamar. The siblings were born on May 29, 1972 and grew up in Mobile, Alabama raised a single mom.

The Cox siblings are both incredibly creative, with Lamar working as a composer, performer, and artist while his sister pursued acting and activism.

M Lamar was always supportive of his sister Laverne

Laverne Cox has been open about her struggles as a child when she was coming to terms with her sexuality and gender identity.

She attempted suicide at the age of 11 after being bullied for not acting “the way someone assigned male at birth was supposed to act”.

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But her brother and mother were always supportive of her: “I had this brother who when I told I was transitioning, he was like ‘Oh you’re doing the medical thing. Okay, cool.’ It wasn’t an issue. And my mom has always loved me unconditionally,” Cox previously told E! News.

M Lamar has acting credits too

Orange is the New Black fans might recognise Lamar as having played Cox’s character Sophia Burset pre-transition on the show, to which Cox later said that she was “really grateful” to have been able to “share a little bit of this show and this moment with him”.

M Lamar playing a younger version of his sister in prison series Orange Is The New Black
M Lamar playing a younger version of his sister in prison series Orange Is The New Black (Netflix)

But that was his one and only foray into acting so far, preferring instead to focus on singing and playing piano as well being a multimedia artist.

In fact, Cox said her brother sometimes regrets doing the show because it overshadows his own work.

Lamar grew up singing as a soprano in his church choir and later attended the San Francisco Art Institute and Yale for painting and sculpture, but ultimately decided to pursue music.

“He drew and painted very realistically from an early age. He won every art competition you can win on local, state, and national levels,” Cox said of her brother in an interview with Story + Rain.

After leaving Yale, Lamar moved to New York City and trained with Ira Siff, who was the lead soprano of La Gran Scena Opera Company.

His sister told the Windy City Times that the pair have “a tremendous amount of respect… for each other as artists and as human beings.”

Even though Orange is the New Black was Lamar’s only acting credit, that doesn’t mean he has completely shied away from the silver screen.

In 2022, Lamar appeared on the ABC show Claim To Fame under the pseudonym ‘X’. The reality competition series hosted by Kevin and Frankie Jonas sees 12 contestants move into a house together who all have a celebrity relative. Each person is meant to suss out the others’ celebrity connection while keeping their own a secret.

M Lamar encouraged his sister’s acting

Even though Lamar didn’t choose to go down the acting route, he very much encouraged his sister to pursue it.

“I remember seeing you at Marymount Manhattan College in a performance do a dance and then a monologue afterwards and I thought ‘This is what you should be doing – acting.’ You’re a brilliant actor and that’s why I thought you shouldn’t do the reality show ‘I Want to Work For Diddy’,” Lamar told his sister during a rare joint interview for HuffPost, referring to Cox’ first role appearing on the VH1 reality show featuring Diddy.

“To be an actor with serious training for years, lots of theatre, and lots of films even before the reality show, for a serious artist to then go and do a reality show to me just seemed like the worst idea in the world. You remember I said, ‘Don’t do it’,” he continued.

In the same interview, Cox said that many people discouraged her from going on the show but she decided to in the end so that there was more “transgender representation in the media”.

He thinks of his sister as ‘an inspiration

After being eliminated from ABC’s Claim to Fame and revealing that he was in fact Cox’s brother, Lamar gave a heartfelt speech about her.

He said: “I have never really spoken about her, but since she’s the reason I’m here, I want to say in front of the world, I love her so much. I think she’s the most extraordinary person I’ve ever met. She has endured all kinds of insanity, and continues to.

“She continues to stand with so much dignity and pride and go forward and be an inspiration for so many people. Her success is so much bigger than her.”

But even though he believes her to be an inspiration, particularly to other trans folk, Lamar was always a little worried about the scrutiny she would receive.

He previously told World of Wonder that he was “frightened for her” and he personally “wouldn’t wish that scrutiny on her or anybody”.

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