Asia Kate Dillon, best known for their role as Brandy Epps in Orange Is The New Black, recently received a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Visibility Award.
Dillon, who identifies as non-binary trans and pansexual, used this platform to discuss their experiences with white privilege as well as the privilege of being assigned female at birth when it comes to presenting femme.
‘I am light-skinned,’ they said. ‘Labeled white and assigned female at birth.’
‘We are given many labels at birth and these labels have life or death consequences,’ they explain.
‘Because I was labeled white and assigned female at birth, I am able to wear a suit and it is considered groundbreaking; while my femme friends of color who were assigned male at birth are ostracized, bullied, and beaten because they wear a skirt or a dress.’
‘Because I was labeled white and assigned female at birth, I am praised for declaring that clothing, makeup, and jewelry have no gender; while my femme friends of color who were assigned male at birth and declare the same are told that there is no safe place for their expression.’
‘Because I was labeled white and assigned female at birth, I do not fear for my life every time I leave my house, unlike my femme friends of color who were assigned male at birth who live at the dangerous and often deadly intersection of racism, transphobia, and sexism.’
‘No one is free until we all are free,’ Dillon states. ‘Until the most marginalized among us – black, indigenous, and people of color – especially trans, intersex, and genderqueer folks – are held up as essential assets toward the survival of us all.’
‘When we work to make the world safer for others, we are ultimately working to make it safer for ourselves.’
Watch Dillon’s full HRC speech below.