In a recent special with ABC that documents the shift in transgender visibility within mainstream American, actress and activist Laverne Cox opened up about her own childhood growing up trans in Mobile, Alabama. At one point during the conversation, the icon shared her experiences with the bullying she faced as a result of not acting the way that an individual assigned male at birth is culturally expected to act.
“I was bullied and I internalized a lot of shame about who I was as a child,” Cox said. “Bullied because I didn’t act the way someone assigned male at birth was supposed to act. And so I was called sissy, I was called the F-word. I was chased home from school practically every day. There was always a kid or groups of kids who wanted to beat me up."
Though not included in the above video, Cox also reportedly discussed a suicide attempt.
“The suicide attempt happened when I was in sixth grade and I was having all these feelings about other boys. And I didn’t want to live,” Cox continued.
The star also engaged in a discussion about what she sees as the future of the transgender movement -- where the queer community can go from here. Cox stressed a focus on prioritizing the creation of spaces in which individuals can self-determine their own gender and not face regulation or policing of their bodies and lives by others.
2014 has been an incredible years for transgender visibility, with Cox at the forefront of the movement. Not only was she recently featured on the cover of TIME, but the actress has time and time again schooled the media about the proper way to talk about trans bodies, experiences and lives.
Check out the video above or head here to read more from the ABC special on the trajectory of the transgender movement.