Laverne Cox is really busy these days. Just this week, she appeared on ShowBiz Tonight to rally support for trans homecoming queen Cassidy Lynn Campbell, and also spoke eloquently on a panel about trans visibility in the media. In her spare time, she stars on the hit breakout series, "Orange is the New Black." Now, Laverne has signed on to deliver the keynote address at a Spirit Day event in South Carolina.
The rally and accompanying candle light vigil will be the fourth annual ones hosted by We Are Family, an organization dedicated to providing support and resources for LGBTQI-identified youth and their peer allies. Spirit Day unites participants around the world in celebration of acceptance and pride, as well as in a stance against bullying LGBT youth. This year, We Are Family will focus on gender identity, as a way to include transgender youth, who are often left out of or excluded from public discourse.
As an advocate for the LGBT community, a ground breaker in trans media visibility, and someone who grew up as a trans youth in the south, Laverne may have been the perfect choice for the rally's lead speaker.
Laverne is one of many celebrities to go purple for Spirit Day this year. Check out GLAAD's list of ambassadors.
"It is our job to no longer make it socially acceptable to make fun of us," Laverne urged the crowd at the recent panel, Growing Visibility: Transgender People in the Media, which also featured Spirit Day ambassador Kye Allums and activist/writer Reina Gossett. Laverne continued, "Our identities are not a joke." Pictures from the panel are on Facebook and Flickr.
Speeches will also be given by Devi Raheja, an intersex youth, a trans-identified girl named Sera Guerry and her mother, and Amy Garbati, the director of Charleston Area Transgender Support and of the SC Equality Transaction Network. Additionally, Megan Jean and the KFB will perform.
For Spirit Day 2013, We Are Family has joined up with the College of Charleston's Cougar Activities Board, Office of Institutional Diversity, and Women's and Gender Studies program. For additional information on the rally, interviewing Laverne at the event, the student meet and greet beforehand, or the post-rally VIP reception and fundraiser, please contact Melissa Moore at email@example.com.
To get in the spirit like Laverne, take the Spirit Day Pledge and be entered to win a Las Vegas getaway.