Lavern Cox’s Newest Mattel Barbie Collab And The Importance of Trans Representation

June 14, 2022

It’s Pride Month, so you know there’s much celebrating to be done! And what better way than to honor legendary actress and LGBTQ+ activist Laverne Cox.

The 50-year-old actress is being honored by Mattel’s Tribute Collection with her own Barbie doll. The iconic company said the collaboration is part of its commitment to continue increasing diversity and celebrating its impact as an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Barbie is also donating in Cox’s name to TransFamilySOS, a nonprofit close to her heart that is on a mission to create a more gender-affirming and accepting community.

Every fairytale has a beginning.

These actions and honors are lightyears ahead of where America stood in the 1950s. At that time, Christine Jorgensen was the first and only openly transgender person in America. She faced admiration and immense scrutiny when she returned home to New York and completed her gender reassignment surgery.

About nine thousand transgender surgeries are performed annually across the United States. Access to information is widely and readily available, and perhaps more importantly, support for trans youth is available nationally.

Creating a safe space for all the nation’s children

Cox’s strides help obtain a positive self-image for trans youth. That, along with the benefits of supportive families, has been linked to fewer depressive symptoms and reduced suicidal ideation.

Studies show that gender-affirming care can offer life-saving benefits to transgender youth. It can improve psychological health, reduce gender dysphoria, and decrease suicidality and suicide attempts.

The Biden Foundation released information about advancing the acceptance of trans youth and included some things to avoid. The announcement states that fewer than half of the over one million trans youth say they have an adult in their family they could turn to if they felt sad or worried.

It provides ways parents, families, and society can help change the feeling of loneliness or feeling ostracized. Respecting their chosen name and correct pronouns, allowing them to choose their clothes and hairstyle, and determining their toys and activities are on the list.

A true trailblazer, Cox continues to be of service by being fearless, unapologetic, and asserting her worth and talents in addition to her gender identity. She is a role model who is genuinely as fabulous as the Barbie made after her.