Laverne Cox and Rosario Dawson absolutely slayed last September at the Tribeca TV Festival in New York City, where Dawson had a one-on-one Q&A conversation with trans pioneer Cox. It was the first time these two fierce and fabulous ladies spent time together—they said so on stage at the event—they’ve since become friends and allies in their passionate activism.
Cox and Dawson have reunited to talk about LGBTQ rights for the second episode of Dare I Say, a new Harper’s Bazaar podcast, hosted by Olivia Wilde, that has influential women discussing relevant issues. The first two episodes of Dare I Say debuted on March 8, International Women’s Day.
The Dare I Say podcast is free to download on services such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, and SoundCloud. The podcast can also be found on the Harper’s Bazaar website.
In the episode with Cox and Dawson, we get to listen in on their one-on-one conversation that clocks in for about 26 minutes. Wilde occasionally chimes in for a voiceover to introduce the next segment of the conversation.
Cox and Dawson do not hold back on what they think.
Dawson said, “We think we’re in a post-racial, post-sexism [world]—far cry from it.”
The actress, who got her start in Larry Clark’s teen HIV movie Kids, said she agreed with Scarlett Johansson’s decision to drop out of her transgender role of massage-parlor owner Dante Gill in the movie Rub & Tug, so the role could be filled by a transgender person.
Dawson praised transgender actress Trace Lysette for being one of the leading voices in calling for a trans person to be cast in the role: “I thought that was so important. It can get so murky. We’re still left over from this past generation’s idea of deference…But this [younger] generation is not even remotely interested…They’re not preaching tolerance; they’re preaching acceptance.”
Cox and Dawson agreed that many people are going to resist letting under-represented and disenfranchised people have the same opportunities as more privileged people.
“It’s hard work. It’s uncomfortable work,” Dawson said of getting people to be more accepting of others.
Cox had this to say about inclusivity and gender equality: “We have to think beyond ‘man’ and ‘woman’ and making these generalizations about what men do and these generalizations what women do, because so many people exist in the space in between and beyond. That is the space of true liberation—when we can move beyond all of those gender expectations and just be.”
The Orange Is the New Black star added, “The first question folks ask when someone’s having a baby is, ‘Is it a boy or girl?’ I always ask, ‘Boy, girl or trans?’—to challenge that binary notion. When we can begin to, on fundamental levels, challenge everything we thought we knew about something…maybe we can see each other differently and love each other better and be in that space of abundance. What does it look like to really include everyone?”
“We have to stay vigilant and have to stay woke,” Cox added, saying that people often put on a front of being progressive without doing what they say they believe.
Dawson lamented that “people are hashtagging things, but not showing up to vote.” She added, “There’s a lot of energy going on, but unless it concretes into real action, we’re not going to see the benefit for future generations.”
Someone get these two their own talk show.