Laverne Cox of "Orange is the New Black" Fame To Speak at Syracuse's LGBT Event


Laverne Cox, the Emmy-nominated "Orange is the New Black" star, will deliver a keynote address at Syracuse University's annual Coming Out Month celebration.

The 30-year-old actress will speak about the intersection of complex identities at SU's Goldstein Auditorium in the Schine Student Center on Oct. 29.

Cox, who is a transgender in real life, has garnered critical acclaim for her portrayal of a transgender inmate Sophia Burset in the popular sitcom "Orange Is the New Black". She received a nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series at the recent Emmy Awards.

Cox is the first openly transgender actress to be nominated for an Emmy. She is also the first transgender to appear on Vh1's reality show "I Wanna Work for Diddy".

The iconic activist and advocate for transgender issues is set to publish a memoir, in 2015, based on her life. During her childhood in Mobile, Ala., Cox was bullied and harassed for her effeminate characteristics. She eventually came out as a transgender and took up acting.

"I was told many times that I wouldn't be able to have a mainstream career as an actor because I'm trans, because I'm black, and here I am," Cox told the Times Magazine in July. "And it feels really good."

"Coming Out Month" is a month-long celebration by LGBT Resource Center to support the LGBT community. Previous keynote speakers include Emi Koyama of and Kenyon Farrow, the former executive director of Queers for Economic Justice.

Chase Catalano, director of the LGBT Resource Center, said that Cox is an exciting speaker and her presence will reach a wider audience.

"We chose Laverne Cox as our keynote for her inspiring insights on justice and community building," Catalano said. "We believe Ms. Cox will be a speaker who will encourage more students to engage in conversations about marginalized genders and sexualities at SU and help continue to transform our campus into a more inclusive space," Daily Orange reports.

Besides the Netflix drama "Orange Is the New Black", Cox will guest star in an upcoming season-two episode of MTV's "Faking It" and on Bravo's new series "Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce". She will play Margot, a Hester High alum and the director of the school's elite drama club, in "Faking It", Entertainment Weekly reports.

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