"It's unfortunately not [simple]. And by keeping it simple, we erase people, we erase their experiences, we erase their existence," the actress explained.
Laverne Cox has revealed she felt "defensive" when she was first accused of overlooking pregnant transgender men when she tweeted out against Alabama's abortion ban back in May.
"It was an uncomfortable moment for me," the "Orange Is The New Black" star said of the backlash to the tweet in an interview with British Vogue published Thursday. "I felt defensive. I was being accused of erasing a trans male. That hits really close to home."
Cox came under fire from trans men when she reshared a tweet that read: "Woman's body. Woman's right to choose. End of story." One of the actress' followers criticized Cox and pointed out trans men and non-binary people can get pregnant as well.
According to Cox, she initially just wanted to promote solidarity with women. "I wanted to be in sisterhood with other women in that moment," she told the publication. "I was also like, do we really want to have that conversation about trans men getting pregnant? Can it just not be complicated right now? Can we just keep it simple?"
However, Cox then said she "got curious." She added, "It's unfortunately not [simple]. And by keeping it simple, we erase people, we erase their experiences, we erase their existence."
Cox expressed this curiosity and addressed the tweet when she gave a commencement speech at Pitzer College in May.
"As I continued to process, I thought, for the first time, 'What if I were a transgender man?' What if I were a transgender man... and for whatever reason, I became pregnant unintentionally?" she said in the speech, according to Huffington Post. "If I were that trans man, I would really want to have language that incorporated and included my experience.”
Cox, who is undoubtedly one of the most prominent voices in the LGBTQI+ movement, has earned many "firsts." She was the first trans person to win an Emmy for executive producing her documentary "Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word" in 2015 and the first openly transgender individual to be nominated for an Emmy award for acting ("Orange Is The New Black" in 2014).
Now the star has added another "first": she is the first trans person to be on the cover of British Vogue. And it's all thanks to Duchess Meghan Markle, who guest-edited the September issue.
"I have had a lot of firsts in my career, but I am not the first trans person on the cover of Vogue -- that honor goes to Valentina Sampaio on the cover of French Vogue [in March 2017]," Cox said. "And Indya Moore on the cover of Teen Vogue [in March 2019]. That's absolutely beautiful -- that I am not the first. I love that history. I love following in the footsteps of folks like that."