Trans icon Laverne Cox honoured by Stonewall National Museum for her ‘fearless’ advocacy

Emmy-Award-winning trans actress Laverne Cox is being honoured by the Stonewall National Museum, Archives & Library, where she will be included in the Standing on the Shoulders of Heroes exhibition.

Cox, who rose to fame as inmate Sophia Burset in Netflix hit Orange is the New Black, is the latest LGBTQ+ trailblazer to be added to the exhibition.

The historic collection already features the like of author and long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad, Billie Jean King, Billy Porter, Harvey Milk and US congresswoman Barbara Jordan.

2024 is proving to be quite the year for Laverne Cox; in February, she once again solidified her ‘it girl’ status by appearing in a jaw-dropping British Vogue cover celebrating 40 “legendary” women.

Curated in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the exhibit is on tour along with its sister display Never Silent, and will be available to view at the City College of New York from tomorrow (27 April) until 7 May, when Cox will be inducted as the 16th LGBTQIA+ historic trailblazer, in a live event.

Commenting on the exhibitions and Cox’s inclusion, Robert Kesten, the museum’s executive director, said: “Never Silent recognises the importance of history, highlighting past and present examples that show how obstacles can only be overcome when we know what and who have come before.

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“Bringing these two poignant exhibitions to major cities across America is essential at a time when we have limited trust in sources of information and when our community is under attack. 

“Standing in New York City, alongside a fearless advocate and talent like Laverne Cox, should make it clear that individuals do make a difference. She is living proof.”

Laverne Cox has been a trailblazer since she burst on to the pop-culture scene in the prison drama more than 10 years ago.

She became the first trans person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in an acting category, and, in 2015, won a Daytime Emmy in the outstanding special class special for her work as the executive producer of Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word – making her the first trans woman to win the gong.

Among her many achievements, she was the first trans person on the cover of Time magazine, with the now-legendary Transgender Tipping Point cover, and to have a waxwork model of herself in Madame Tussauds.

Cox has also appeared in the 2019 reboot of Charlie’s Angels, 2020’s Promising Young Woman, an adaptation of Larry Kramer’s searing Aids pandemic story, The Normal Heart, and Netflix series Inventing Anna.