This is what happened when Laverne Cox met a 7-year-old transgender girl.
Marlo Mack, who writes about raising a transgender girl on her Gender Mom blog, brought her daughter M to a speech the transgender actress gave at their hometown earlier this year.
‘Orange is the New Black isn’t really appropriate viewing for 7-year-olds, I had shown M the photo of Ms Cox on the cover of Time when it came out last year, so M had a vague idea that this was someone important who was also transgender,’ she wrote.
‘But I don’t think she really got it until we showed up for the event.’
Mack said most of the speech went over her daughter’s head but she hoped this message got through to her: ‘Here is someone who is talented and smart and famous and beloved by the multitudes — and she’s also like you.’
They were then snuck into a small reception where M staked out a place near a door in wait for Cox.
Here’s what happened next:
Laverne waved her Hollywood wave at the crowd, thanked us graciously, and then looked down at the little girl blocking her path.
‘Well, hello,’ she said.
‘I’m M,’ my daughter said.
Laverne smiled down at her. ‘Hello, M.’
‘And I’m trans,’ M said.
I don’t think Ms. Cox saw that coming. The crowd around me gasped their approval (‘Did you hear what that little girl said?’). Laverne seemed at a bit of a loss. She looked around the room. ‘Is anyone with her?’
I stepped forward. ‘I’m her mom.’ Then I got tongue-tied in the face of celebrity, and forgot how to speak like a normal human. I have no idea what I said.
But M knew what to do. She went in for a hug. Laverne crouched down to meet M’s hug at eye level, and as I frantically snapped photos for posterity, I heard her say to my daughter, ‘Remember, honey, transgender is beautiful.’