Today VIBE Vixen released the first of five covers featuring the beautiful cast of the Netflix-original show “Orange Is The New Black!”

Inside, actress Laverne Cox reveals the horrible treatment she was subjected to when she was young.


VIBE Vixen is profiling each and every cover gal to give an insider’s look at life for TV’s most wanted (and beloved) convicts. First up is Laverne Cox –AKA Sophia Burset—whose age remains a mystery. However, she is an open book when it comes to the truth about bullying, advocating and being transgender in Hollywood.

What can you tell us about your worst experience with bullying? 

When I grew up in Alabama, I was called a sissy, a fag and kids basically wanted to beat me up every day. There was a time in middle school when some kids hit my brother and I with drumsticks and a parent from the school saw it. We knew we could never tell our mother because she would blame us and question why we weren’t fighting back, but the principal called her. It was really awful and painful.

 It looks like the role of Sophia was made for you.

I just auditioned! In August of 2012, I was at an event with my agent, who brought it my way. I was actually doing research on Cece McDonald, at the time. She’s a black trans-woman who’s in prison in Minnesota. I was trying to interview her for a show called In the Life, which lost its funding. Now I’m happy because I get to interview her. I think about her a lot during this journey. She was harassed walking down the street by people yelling anti-trans and racial slurs. A fight broke out and one of her tappers ended up dead, and she is in prison for it. I’m interviewing her for a documentary.

Do you know if Sophia is based on an actual prison mate? 

She is! Piper Kerman wrote a book where she mentioned a woman named Vanessa, who was Trans and a black woman. She was a showgirl before prison – she’s definitely a real person.

What do you look for in a significant other?

I look for a guy who’s really smart, highly intelligent and really articulate. But he also has to make me laugh. I was dating this comic — we’re still sort of seeing each other on and off — and he’s really funny, really brilliant and beautiful. It’s a good combination; he’s just a bit shorter than me. Ideally, the guy has to be a really good person. I want his heart to be sweet, and he can’t be a liar. He has to mean what he says and say what he means, and has to have good follow through.