Imagine yourself waking up every morning and realizing that you have to literally avoid death from the moment you wake up till the time you are supposedly safe at home. Imagine that you’re told by many people, who you love, that you’re a sin and that you will burn in hell. Imagine that everyday the people you thought cared for you turn you away and threaten you if you don’t change, for some people that is something they can never even begin to understand, but now imagine it happening to someone for their entire life.
Laverne Cox, a transgender woman and actress, gives a powerful speech during ‘Creating Change 2014’ (an organization that brings awareness to the LGBT community) she talks about the violent injustices and police discrimination against the lives of transgender women of color as a way to spread awareness of the inequalities of transgender within the LGBT community to those who feel the T in LGBT isn’t as important. Throughout her speech she appeals to the viewer’s empathy to those in pain through personal anecdotes and asyndeton sentences.
Within her speech Cox talks about all of the present attacks targeted towards transgender women of color and when talking about them she brings in her own experience when she was younger and uses that to make her speech seem more credible about what she was saying. Cox states” Some days [she] [woke] up and [is] that sixth grader who swallowed a bottle of pills because [she] did not want to be [herself] anymore because [she] did not know how to be anybody else. as a way to really bring the listener in because she knows, from experience, that some people care more about a “normal” person committing suicide than they do about the troubles that transgenders face like, “… who [she] was, [she] was told [she] was a sin, a problem, and [she] didn’t want to exist. ” and how her encounters with these past events has affected her and still continues to affect her today in very similar ways like how “…
Some days [she] wake[s] up and [she is] that black, transgender woman walking the streets of New York City hearing people yell, That’s a man, to [her]. ” By her bringing in her own experience the viewer can start to understand the cruelty and hatred that comes with being transgender and the emotional toll it has on the victims. This is, unfortunately, one of her many examples of the injustices that transgender women of color face every day.
She makes another example about a more recent attack towards another transgender woman of color, Cece McDonald, (who -after being assaulted by white supremacist who felt it necessary to attack Cece for being a black transwoman-was arrested because she was “defending herself because she refused to be a statistic” by fighting back) and the way that she was unjustly treated by the police force. Her beginning statement in regards to this incident was “Some days, I wake up and I have heard about another one of my transgender sisters who has been assaulted, raped, murdered. and then proceeded to go in depth about Cece’s case.
Cox uses the experience of this woman to create an emotional connection to the viewers since the natural human reaction to pain and torment is empathy. Farther down in her speech Cox uses very uplifting and inspiring messages towards the audience as a way to make them feel more passionate about what she’s talking about, she stated “And I believe when we love someone, we respect them, and we listen to them, we feel that their voice matters.
And- and we let them dictate the terms of who they are and what their story is. ” When she says that, she’s appealing to the mental want of being accepted and wanting to truly be loved by someone for being themselves, and it’s a thing that a lot of people want in life so it can be associated to almost everyone. It’s one of her many ways of using the strength of mental love to make the viewers feel more passionate towards the point that she is trying to make about her fallen transgender brothers and sisters.
Laverne Cox has a certain way of speaking that can be appealing to the emotional and logical thinking of the human brain, she does it by talking about the things that people like to dance around and ignore, she as well does it in an exciting, powerful, and moving way. She is an experienced woman who was trying to get a message across to the viewers, that being transgender is beautiful but it also comes at a cost, which can sometimes be someone’s sacrifice so the whole community can expand and rise from it.