Many have been praising Bruce Jenner since his revealing interview with Diane Sawyer where he publicly came out as a transgender woman for the first time.
However, it turns out that it was another transgender celebrity who helped Bruce prepare for his journey into womanhood. Orange Is The New Black star Laverne Cox admitted that she helped walk the father of ten through his decision and get a better perspective on the change.
Laverne shared with MSNBC:
“I had spoken to Bruce several months back. The same person who I spoke to on the phone, who really just loves their children so much and wants their family to be happy was the person I saw on television last night.”
They reconnected again after the special aired.
“I told Bruce, ‘This is like another gold medal.’ He said, ‘This is better than a gold medal.’
He’s really pleased. I think a lot of people tuned in expecting to see a spectacle, and they tuned in and saw a profoundly nuanced, complicated, beautiful human being. I thought ABC handled it really beautifully.”
But while she praised Bruce for standing in his truth and finally living a full life publicly, Laverne also acknowledged that the trans community still has VERY far way to go, and stories with an end as triumphant as Bruce’s are still very rare.
“Bruce’s story is very specific. Most trans people don’t have that kind of privilege. At the end of the day, the visibility that I had last year and continue to have, didn’t save Blake Brockington from suicide, didn’t save Leelah Alcorn from suicide, didn’t save the seven trans women who were murdered the first eight weeks of this year.
So visibility matters, but structural change and policy change is what needs to happen so the lives of all trans people will be better.”