Laverne Cox Reflects on Dating, Self Love, and Survivor’s Guilt

"I understand that I'm very lucky," Cox tells "Self" magazine.

In a powerful new interview with Self, Laverne Cox opens up about her experiences as a trans woman and the “survivor’s guilt” she felt as her star began to rise while many trans women suffer.

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I was so nervous about this cover story coming out. It's not easy constantly being vulnerable in public but that's part of my job as an actor and part of my work in loving myself more and healing as a human being. I have to challenge myself to be more vulnerable, to peel back more layers. I don't always do that publicly. It's not always safe to do the work of being vulnerable in public spaces. But here is another attempt from me to be more vulnerable in a public forum. Thank you @selfmagazine for making me feel safe enough to go there. Photographer: Carissa Gallo @carissajg Wardrobe Styling by Doria Santlofer @doriasantlofer Makeup by Deja Smith @theladydeja Hair by Kendra Garvey @kendragarvey Manicure by Emi Kudo @nailsbyemikudo. Click on the link in my profile to read @1demerith's profile where I get candid about somethings I am scared for you to read about. Here goes. #TransIsBeautiful

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“I understand that I’m very lucky,” Cox says of her success as a trans woman in the entertainment industry while reports show rates of murder, suicide, unemployment, and housing discrimination continue to rise in the trans community. “I understand that I’ve been chosen. It makes me sad…it’s very intense.”

Cox says she tries to minimize her feelings of “survivor’s guilt” by remembering that she should be proud of her achievements and being mindful her consumption and spending.

“I think there’s a difference between materialism and wanting to live comfortably,” Cox says. “That’s what I have to be really careful with, right? That I’m not just like conspicuously consuming and being materialistic.”

The Orange is the New Black star also opened about the criticism she faces for dating a white man.

“It’s rough out there when you’re a black woman,” Cox says, citing OkCupid dating statistics highlighting men on the site rate black women as less attractive than other races. “And then you add being trans to that, girl, you can’t be limited. I don’t think you should limit yourself. I’m going where it’s warm and I’m going where there’s a connection. That’s not about race…I can’t live my life for other people.”

Read the full story here.

Lamar Dawson is a pop culture junkie and pop diva addict living in Manhattan. Follow him on everything @dirrtykingofpop.