Watch: Laverne Cox Joins Chorus of Voices Slamming '60 Minutes' Segment on Trans Healthcare

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday May 26, 2021

Laverne Cox took to Instagram to share her disappointment in a May 23 "60 Minutes" segment about transgender healthcare, saying that the piece gave a skewed picture of the facts around trans health issues.

In her thoughts about the segment, Cox reflected that when she is speaking about transgender issues, she considers how to include "love for transgender people in that representation," and raised the question: "How do we show trans people in our fullest humanity?"

Cox noted that the "60 Minutes" segment focused on anti-trans healthcare laws in states like Arkansas before addressing the fact that, contrary to the claims of some politicians, the process of gender transitioning is not "experimental" but well-established.

"And then they spoke to some people who regretted their transitioning and who de-transitioned," Cox said, referring to an appearance by Grace Lidinsky-Smith, the founder of the Gender Care Consumer Advocacy Network.

"Transition, transition, transition, transition," Cox said, before recalling comments she made during a 2014 appearance on Katie Couric's talk show: "When we focus on surgery and transition [in talking] with and about trans people, that objectifies trans people, and that is fundamentally dehumanizing."

Cox added, "What is going on in this culture war that trans folks have been thrust in the middle of is a fight for our existence. ... It is whether we get to exist in public space as our authentic selves."

Hear Cox's comments below:

Cox was far from alone in her criticisms. GLAAD also condemned the "shameful" segment as an example of "fearmongering," according to The Wrap.

"GLAAD pushed back on the timing of the piece, noting that at least 30 states have introduced bills targeting the trans community in recent months," the outlet noted.

GLAAD also took issue with "60 Minutes" having "wrongfully implied that trans YouTubers and online communities which affirm trans youth are somehow brainwashing kids and turning them trans. That is dangerous and at the same time ridiculous."

The piece drew condemnation from journalists as well as advocates. The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (of which this writer is a member) issued a statement in which the group noted that Lidinsky-Smith "was not identified as a board member of the Gender Care Consumer Advocacy Network," adding that "her position in the organization should have been noted by '60 Minutes.'"

The NLGJA statement added: "The number of people who choose to detransition is believed to be a very small share of the trans population, as '60 Minutes' noted, and their experiences do not negate those of transgender individuals who have successfully transitioned.

"It is important to remember that gender-affirming care is vital for the health and safety of transgender people, and guidance from leading medical experts and associations tells us that discussions of detransitioning must be decoupled from the bills moving through state legislatures."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.