Laverne Cox says her new music video was inspired by straight men who secretly desire trans women

Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox has revealed how her new music video was inspired by straight men who hide their attraction to trans women. 

In the steamy, trippy video for new single “Gretchen: A TripHopera Pt. 2”, the actress and activist subverts the mythical 18th-century story of Faust and Gretchen.

“In my version, Faust is actually Fausto, and instead of Gretchen being tormented by her desire for [him], it is Fausto who is tormented by his desire for [her], she’s the seductress,” Cox exclusively reveals to PinkNews.

The star portrays Gretchen and gives a lap dance to the shirtless hunk playing Fausto. The “sexy moment” was inspired by Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” video, in which he dances on Satan. Cox hopes it “sparks some conversation” about straight men who hide their desire for transgender women.

“It’s a great way to reflect on the ways in which a lot of straight-identified men find themselves attracted to trans women, often through sex work, through porn,” she says.

“Far too often, in my experiences, those men have been tormented by that desire. They’ve kept trans women a secret and, in 2024, we should be way past that. But we’re not.”

Pornhub’s 2023 Year in Review report revealed that boomers – people over the age of 55 – are 58 per cent more likely to be interested in trans porn than younger viewers of pornography.

Previous data revealed that Republican-led states in the US, many of which are looking to bring in anti-trans legislation, are also filled with people who watch trans porn.

“There’s something fascinating that the states banning gender-affirming care for trans people and [which] have the most laws attacking trans people, those states, mostly men, are searching for trans porn more than any other states,” Cox continues.

“They’re simultaneously attempting to ban the existence of trans people while finding sexual pleasure in our bodies. That is something we should be talking more about.”

Making new music such as her experimental opera bop has “been a great joy” and helps to “get [her] through” the seemingly endless, right-wing rhetoric around the transgender community’s right to exist.

Laverne Cox in new music video 'Gretchen: A TripHopera Pt. 2'
Laverne Cox in new music video “Gretchen: A TripHopera Pt. 2”. (YouTube/LaverneCox)

However, she insists that debates about whether trans people should be allowed to compete in sports, or whether transgender children should be able to access gender-affirming care, are a cover for the Republicans’ end goal: to eradicate trans people entirely.

“It’s never been about children. It’s never been about sports. The trans kids and trans people and sports [discourse] was a Trojan horse so that [Republicans] can basically begin banning trans people from existing [in] public life,” she says.

“[American commentator] Michael Knowles said it a year ago: we need to ban transgender ideology from public life – and that is the goal of all these laws.”

Last year, 85 anti-trans bills were passed across the entire US, according to the Trans Legislation Tracker.

“At the end of the day, if you don’t have a trans kid, it’s actually not your business,” Cox says firmly. “I believe, just as I believe with reproductive rights, that the state should not be involved in the healthcare decisions of what people get to do with their bodies, whether they’re children or adults.”

While the Promising Young Woman star was able to get her first hormone shot from a doctor in the 90s, she says that, when that medic retired, she was forced “for a minute” to get her oestrogen on the black market.

Laverne Cox at the Grammys Red Carpet in a red two-tone minidress
Laverne Cox believes Republicans want to eradicate trans identities entirely. (Getty)

“There were a lot of trans women in my generation who had to get their trans health care through the black market,” she shares. “That’s not ideal, you want to get your blood work, you want to be able to have access to a doctor and do it the right way. 

“All the Republicans are doing right now, and everybody who wants to ban gender-affirming care, is that they are driving trans people to the black market because we will continue to get access to the healthcare we need. We always have, we just want to do it in a safe way.”

As the 2024 presidential election approaches, the constant so-called debates on trans rights will only intensify.

As she has done through her music, over which she says she has “full control artistically”, Cox believes it’s essential that transgender people focus on whatever brings them joy.

“Don’t let anybody take your joy away,” she urges. “Lean into the things that bring you joy and love, and we’re gonna get through these times.”

“Gretchen: A TripHopera Pt. 2” is available on streaming platforms now.

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