Wednesday 29 January 2020

Transgender star Laverne Cox backs puberty-blocking treatment

Laverne Cox said it was exciting that a 'new generation of trans-kids' should not have to suffer as she did
Laverne Cox said it was exciting that a 'new generation of trans-kids' should not have to suffer as she did

Transgender actress Laverne Cox says she supports puberty-blocking treatment for children considering sex changes after describing her "traumatising" experience growing up.

The star of Orange Is The New Black said going through male puberty was "horrible" and she believed children of any age should be allowed to "socially transition" without going through medical treatment.

Cox, who has previously spoken about attempting suicide during her childhood , said it was exciting that a "new generation of trans-kids" should not have to suffer as she did.

She told the Press Association: "The question of whether or not to place your child on puberty-blocking hormones is one new big issue. Parents should know that this is reversible.

"For a transwoman to go through male puberty is really traumatising - I can attest to that. It was horrible. It's awful.

"It's hard to be a transperson. Some people are not able to live in their truth.

"What we must do is make the world safer for transpeople so that being who you are does not put your life in danger."

Hormone suppressors can delay the physical change of puberty, allowing a young person considering a sex change further time to explore their gender identity.

Asked whether she would have liked to have received puberty blockers as a child, Cox replied: "Oh my God, yes. But I don't have any regrets about my life.

"What's exciting is there's a new generation of trans-kids who shouldn't have to go though what I went through."

Cox, 32, said she did believed there was no age "too young to socially transition" - when a child lives as their opposite gender without going through surgery or any other medical treatment.

She added: "With kids under 11 to 10 years old we're not talking about medical transition, we're talking about social transition.

"What studies show is that the lives of transgender kids are better than when they're able to live in their truth. So I don't think there's an age that's too young."

Cox became the first transgender actor to be nominated for an Emmy Award in 2014 for portrayal of Sophia Burset on Netflix series Orange Is The New Black.

She plays Dr Frank-N-Furter in a television reboot of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, playing the role made famous by Tim Curry in the original 1975 film.

Despite performing the song Sweet Transvestite in the TV film, Cox insisted the term "transvestite" should no longer be used to describe transgender people.

She said: "To be clear we should not call transgender people in 2016 a transvestite. Transvestite is an antiquated term that was used in the 1970s for transpeople who hadn't quite finished their transitioning.

"I don't know any transperson who refers to themselves as a transvestite."

Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do The Time Warp Again can be seen on Sky Cinema on Friday at 8pm.

PA Media

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