Laverne Cox

Ain’t I A Woman: My Journey to Womanhood

Actress Laverne Cox rose to fame with her role as Sophia Burset on Orange Is the New Black, becoming the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in an acting category. As Cox says, "My life changed when I realized I deserve to be seen, to dream, to be fully included, always striving to bring my full humanity."

With various 'firsts' in her already impressive career, the Emmy-nominated actress, documentary film producer and prominent equal rights advocate, continues to make history in her career and significant strides in her activism. An advocate with an empowering message of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically, Cox's speaking engagement is guaranteed to be thought-provoking and emotionally compelling.

The Laverne Cox lecture is SOLD OUT!

But – if you did not get tickets, there is hope.

On Thursday:
7 p.m. – Line numbers will be assigned on a first come-first served basis.
7:50 p.m. – Everyone who has a ticket must be seated or may forfeit their right to their free seats.
7:55 p.m. – People in the line will be admitted to fill empty seats.

Historically, only very few people in line don't get in to the lecture.


Join us at 7 p.m. in the Hall Auditorium lobby for pre-performance complimentary refreshments. Everyone is welcome!

Red badge with text: Presidential Series on Inclusivity. Think Differently.

This performance is part of the Presidential Series on Inclusivity

Laverne Cox

8:00 p.m., Thursday, April 4

Hall Auditorium
101 S. Campus Ave


I Am Miami
Western College Alumnae Association
Miami Activities & Programming
Office of Diversity Affairs

Ticket Prices

Free but ticketed! Ticket Information

Video Transcript


0:04-0:14 | GRAEME: Hey everyone, this is Graeme Coleman with Daily Xtra. I'm here outside Toronto's Elgin Theatre where trans activist and critically-acclaimed actress Laverne Cox will be giving a talk called 'Ain't I a Woman: My Journey to Womanhood.' Here are some of the highlights.

0:15-0:44 | (APPLAUSE FADES) LAVERNE: I stand before you this evening a proud, African-American transgender woman. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] From a working-class background, raised by a single mother, I stand before you an artist, and an actress, a sister, and a daughter, and I believe it's important to name the various intersecting components of my multiple identities, because I'm not just one thing. And neither are you.

0:45-1:51 | LAVERNE: According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects--the nation of America, that is--the homicide rate in the LGBTQ community is highest amongst trans women. In 2013, over 72% of all LGBTQ homicides were trans women. Over 67% were trans women of color. According to the 'Injustice at Every Turn National Transgender Survey', the unemployment rate in the transgender community in the United States is twice the national average, 4 times that for trans people of color, 16% of the transgender population has experienced incarceration, compared to 1% of the rest of the population. And 78% of students in grades K-12 who express a transgender or gender non-conforming identity experience harassment or bullying, this is in the States, 74% here in Canada. It is a state of emergency for far too many transgender people all over the world. As Dr. Cornell West reminds us, justice is what love looks like in public.

1:52-2:17 | (APPLAUSE FADES) LAVERNE: It is my belief that one of the biggest obstacles facing the transgender community are points of view which disavow our identities, points of view that suggest that no matter what we do we are always and only the gender we were assigned at birth, points of view that suggest that no matter what I do I'll never be a woman, yet--ain't I a woman? [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]