Laverne Cox walked the red carpet at the 2019 Emmy Awards on Sunday in a Monsoori gown featuring a single-shouldered black bodice and cascading layers of lavender tulle. But she also brought along a colorful accessory that made fans and the fashion world take notice.
The author and “Orange is the New Black” star held a clutch by Edie Parker, who has also designed custom handbags for Katy Perry and Emma Roberts, among other stars.
Cox’s bag featured a rainbow design on one side, along with lettering that reads, “Oct. 8, Title VII, Supreme Court.” The other side features the transgender flag, along with the hashtag #TRANSISBEAUTIFUL.
According to Vogue, Cox collaborated with Parker on the design, which refers to three LGBTQ discrimination cases to be heard by the Supreme Court this fall.
On Oct. 8, justices will begin hearings on the cases of Donald Zarda and Gerald Bostock, who were allegedly fired from their jobs for being gay. They’ll also hear arguments in the case of Aimee Stephens, who claims she was dismissed from her job for being transgender.
Collectively, the court’s ruling will decide whether LGBTQ workers are protected by the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which “prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.”
In an amicus brief filed last month, the Trump administration argued that the 55-year-old civil rights law cannot be interpreted to ban discrimination against LGBTQ workers because it was not the original intention of the legislation’s authors.
A three-time Emmy nominee for her role as Sophia Burset on “Orange is the New Black,” Cox said her interest in raising awareness about the significance of the upcoming Supreme Court ruling made her appearance at Sunday’s ceremony more meaningful.
“This current administration is telling the Supreme Court to make discrimination against LGBTQ people legal,” Cox told Vogue. “Very few people are talking about this crucial case. I hope this will get people talking about the implications for LGBTQ people and beyond.”
“It has implications for women and anyone who doesn’t conform to someone else’s idea of how you should be,” she added in an interview with E! News. “A man or woman or neither.”
Cox attended the Emmys with lawyer Chase Strangio of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The organization is representing Stephens and Zarda in their cases.
“This is actually going to transform the lives of LGBTQ people. And people who are not LGBTQ. Anyone who departs from sex stereotypes, like all the fabulous people here, for example,” Strangio said. “So we really need to show up Oct. 8 and pay attention. Their lives are on the line.”