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Posted on Apr 17, 2014

“Listen to your children” – Access Hollywood speaks to Laverne Cox’s mother Gloria backstage at the #GLAADawards

At the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, Academy Award-nominated actress Ellen Paige surprised Stephen F. Kolzak Award recipient Laverne Cox by bringing out Laverne's mother Gloria to the stage. Following the surprise, Gloria joined Laverne backstage to speak with Access Hollywood about loving her transgender daughter and what she would tell the parents of LGBT children.

Access Hollywood has been backstage at the GLAAD Media Awards for several years, sharing important stories of celebrities speaking out for LGBT equality.

"I've been talking to kids all over the country, and they say, 'how do I talk to my mother?' or, 'how do I talk to my father, or my siblings, about being trans, or about being gay or lesbian?'," Laverne told Access Hollywood reporter Shaun Robinson. "I feel like I just got really, really, lucky. But I try to tell the truth, and I say that we did not get there easily…we had to have some really difficult conversations."

When asked what it has been like for her, Gloria responded, "Understanding, and praying, and talking, and continuing to talk. And, most of all, love." As for her advice to parents of LGBT children, Gloria said, "Listen. Listen to your children, take note of actions, and talk. Open dialogue…that's the most important thing."

See the full Access Hollywood interview with Laverne Cox and her mother Gloria in the video below:

Watch Laverne's mother Gloria suprise Laverne on stage at the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles below:

April 17, 2014
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Posted on Apr 17, 2014

Walking while trans: Arizona trans woman activist arrested and convicted #StandWithMonica

Monica Jones, a transgender woman of color and activist living in Arizona, was arrested and found guilty by a judge of "manifesting prostitution." The charge, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, can be brought against someone for "repeatedly stopping and engaging a passerby in conversation," but police profiling of transgender women of color as alleged sex workers simply for being outside combines with such laws to differentiate "innocent" and "criminal" activity.

In 2013, Monica accepted a ride to a neighborhood bar from two undercover cops and was arrested, joining the more than 350 people arrested since 2011 under Project ROSE, an anti-sex work collaboration between Arizona State University's School of Social Work, the Phoenix Police Department, and the local Catholic charities. Monica had previously spoken out against Project ROSE and believes she may have been targeted by police for that reason. The Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) has affirmed that Project ROSE harms sex workers.

Last Friday, Monica was found guilty of the manifestation charges and is now looking at time in a men's prison. Widespread support for Monica continues to build on social media with the hashtag #StandWithMonica, and during an acceptance speech at the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox discussed Monica's case, saying, "You can be arrested for prostitution just for walking while trans. That happened in Arizona just yesterday, so there is so much more work that needs to be done to make sure that never happens again."

You can continue to show support for Monica Jones and share the below graphics:






April 17, 2014
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Posted on Apr 10, 2014

Trans student Andraya Williams tells HuffPost Live: “I want to feel safer on my campus”

Today, North Carolina trans student Andraya Williams spoke to HuffPost Live about her experience being interrogated by a security guard at Central Piedmont Community College because she is transgender. On March 18, Andraya was told that she needed to provide "medical proof" that she is a female after leaving the women's bathroom on campus, and was escorted off campus. Since then, she has been calling for CPCC to issue a formal apology for the incident, and to change its policies to ensure the safety of transgender students, which would include a sensitivity training for college staff.

"I would like more inclusive policies, I would like training for staff members, and I would like to feel safer on my campus," Andraya told HuffPost Live regarding the changes that CPCC should make. "To be told that I can't go to the female restroom and I'm a female – that's a very awkward feeling to have to go to a totally different restroom."

Campus Pride has started an online petition calling for CPCC to apologize to Andraya, and to ensure the safety of all students. You can sign and share the petition online using the hashtag #IStandWithAndraya.

Watch the full clip of Andraya Willams' interview on HuffPost Live below:

April 10, 2014
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NC State Branding Bar