Laverne Cox is the face of the transgender movement today. She's graced the covers of Time, Essence and Entertainment Weekly, putting trans issues -- and trans people -- at the forefront of media. But for Cox, it's so much more than that: it's about diverse representation.
"For years and years, I've always said that it's not about positive or negative representations of trans people, it's about diverse representations of trans people," Cox told MTV News at the "Orange Is the New Black" OrangeCon event in New York City on Thursday (June 11). "The more stories of us that can get out there in the media, the more the public can get an idea of the rich tapestry of who we are."
"Every trans person can look at me and say, 'This is me,'" Cox added. "But now they have Caitlyn [Jenner]. Now they have 'Transparent.' Now they have 'Becoming Us.' They have 'Sense8' with Jamie Clayton. So they have these other folks to look at and say, 'My story is being told, and that's deeply validating."
In season three of "OITNB," which hit Netflix late last night, Cox's character Sophia grapples with motherhood -- and fatherhood -- when her teen son visits Litchfeild. Just thinking about Sophia's relationship with her son made Cox emotional.
"Michael doesn't really need a second mother and he's really clear about that with Sophia," said Cox. "He needs a father figure, and so Sophia's like, 'Okay. I'll do whatever you want -- I'll be whoever you want -- just be in my life. Just love me.' I'm getting emotional right now! That story line consistently and deeply touches me. I'm so happy that I'm not a mother in real life, but I have a mother who loves me dearly. I think a lot about my mom when I'm doing scenes with Michael."