Laverne Cox shouted out trans teen Gavin Grimm and his struggle while presenting at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards. It was a very effective use of her 20 seconds—a direct, specific, and simple way to bring attention to an important case. It was a great example of bringing activism to one of the biggest platforms of the year (though, as A Tribe Called Quest’s performance showed, it wasn’t the only example on Sunday night.) But Cox wasn’t done.
Last night, she appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and continued spreading awareness about Grimm and his case. After sharing a delightful story about what it was like as a huge Beyoncé stan to finally met the Queen, Colbert asked her about Grimm. Cox dedicated the next two minutes of her six-minute interview to discussing Grimm’s case and how it is the “first time the Supreme Court will be hearing a case on transgender rights.” She went on to explain that the so-called “bathroom bills” spreading across the country aren’t actually about bathrooms at their heart, but more about the right for trans people to exist in public space.
She was charming as all hell and she got her point across. It was another great use of her moment in the limelight. As one of the stars of CBS’ new show Doubt, Cox is being shuttled from outlet to outlet as part of her normal publicity tour (the Grammys and Colbert’s show are both CBS productions). For her to use the promo cycle to discuss trans rights in a candid and engaging way is pretty brilliant.