Laverne Cox graces the cover of Time magazine's June 9 issue. The "Orange Is the New Black" star becomes the first transgender woman who is featured on the magazine's front page. Cox, who is also an activist, sports a skin tight blue dress on the cover and talks about her attempt to commit suicide due to bullying in an accompanying interview.
"I learned in church that [being gay] was a sin," she says. "I just imagined that I was disappointing [my grandmother in heaven] and it just was devastating for me. So I went to the medicine cabinet and got a bottle of pills. And took them. And swallowed them. And went to sleep, hoping not to wake up. And I did wake up, with a really bad stomachache. I don't remember what the pills were. Whatever it was, I thought that they would kill me but they didn't."
In the interview, the transgender actress reveals that some members of the school band hit her with drumsticks as a boy because of his feminine appearance. "My third grade teacher called my mom and said, 'Your son is going to end up in New Orleans wearing a dress.' Up until that point I just thought that I was a girl and that there was no difference between girls and boys," she recalls.
"Going to a therapist and the fear of God being placed in me about ending up in New Orleans wearing a dress, that was a profoundly shaming moment for me. I associated it with being some sort of degenerate, with not being successful," she explains.
Thanks to the internet, people nowadays may connect to others who face similar problems. "There's just so many resources out there now that it makes you feel like you're less alone and gives some sort of sense of, okay, this is who I am and this is what I'm going through, as opposed to being 'What the f*** is wrong with me?' That was what I grew up with," Cox shares.