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VIDEO: Laverne Cox wants you to know Monica Jones’ story, calls for action at #GLAADAwards

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At last night’s 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, actress and transgender advocate Laverne Cox called attention to trans people who have experienced discrimination and been largely ignored by the mainstream media.

In particular, she named Monica Jones, a trans woman of color who has been brought through criminal courts for what's often referred to as walking while trans.  

Laverne told the crowd, “just yesterday one of my transgender sisters…was found guilty of a crime in Phoenix, Arizona that’s basically called ‘manifesting prostitution,’ which basically means that as a trans woman of color walking in a certain neighborhood, you can be arrested for prostitution…There is so much work that needs to get done to make sure that never happens again.”

She then called on news media and LGBT organizations to make a stronger effort to bring stories like Monica’s to the general public’s attention.

“I’m so moved by the work that GLAAD has been doing, particularly over the past year, to make sure that the T is not silent in the LGBT community,” Laverne said as she accepted the Stephen F. Kolzak Award. She referenced the panel she served on for GLAAD in September 2013 and added, “I’m really that GLAAD helped CeCe McDonald come to New York City for the first time to tell her story to various media outlets. GLAAD made that happen.”

Watch Laverne’s speech below (you can skip to 4:00 to hear her speak about the importance of telling trans people's stories):

The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and the issues that affect their lives.  The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories of LGBT people and issues that build support for equality.

Additional awards will be presented in New York City on May 3 at the Waldorf Astoria, tickets are available now.

Learn more about the GLAAD Media Awards at glaad.org/mediaawards.

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