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Laverne Cox Shut Down an Anti-Trans Activist on MSNBC, & It Was Downright Inspirational

During last night’s episode of Hardball on MSNBC, actress Laverne Cox completely shut down anti-trans activist Travis Weber.

In the segment, Laverne spoke to host Chris Matthews about Gavin Grimm, a transgender teen from Virginia who has been fighting to use the bathroom for the gender he identifies with.

“I think it’s important, again, to elevate the lived experiences of trans people,” Laverne explained. “The reality is that trans people have been using the bathroom for many years without incident.”

Matthews then proceeded to ask Weber who exactly would be harmed if students were allowed to use the bathroom they identify with, and his answer was definitely controversial.

“I think we all understand what the harm is…when you have a 14-year-old girl in the locker room, someone comes in with male genitalia to their locker room, of course they’re gonna be harmed,” Travis said. “Their rights are not being protected here, and all I’m asking for is a reasonable discussion considering their rights. Let these localities decide the issue. That’s what we can currently do right now. President Obama was the one that was gonna mandate this on everyone. Now, localities can decide the issue, and it’s not as clear-cut under Title IX. Title IX is for sex discrimination.”

Once Laverne heard this, she gave the most brilliant response of all time.

“I think it’s important, when we have conversations with and about transgender people, that we do not reduce us to body parts,” she said. “We are more than the sum of our parts, and it’s so deeply objectifying and dehumanizing to talk about trans people and reduce us to body parts. That is really disturbing.”

Laverne continued, “And we need to look at the evidence. We need to look at all the hundreds of localities all over the country that have public accommodations protections, and that’s really what we’re talking about for trans people. And everything that he’s claiming happens actually doesn’t happen. Instead, trans people feel as if they have a right to exist in society. My transition was about me existing in public space and thriving in society. And because I was able to do that, I’ve been able to thrive. That’s all we want.”

I am speechless. Laverne, you are amazing. 

Catherine is an ambitious twenty-something woman living in Rock Hill, South Carolina where she attends Winthrop University as a mass communication major. She is the President and Campus Correspondent for Her Campus at Winthrop, which she co-founded in November 2014. She has also been a member of the Winthrop chapter of the Association for Women in Communications, and is currently the President of the Society of Professional Journalists chapter at Winthrop. Since being involved with Her Campus, Catherine received an internship at Her Campus Media in Boston, MA. She also currently works as a Chapter Advisor for the company and writes about Grey's Anatomy each week for the site. Because of Her Campus, she has also received writing positions at many publications throughout her 3 years at Winthrop. Outside of her busy lifestyle, Catherine enjoys relaxing with her friends on the weekends and having Sex and the City marathons. She can't live without her dog, family, Cosmopolitan, friends, Starbucks, Instagram, The Bachelor, Grey's Anatomy and of course Chick-fil-A. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter: @cathclowe!
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