Laverne Cox says we can’t help transgender people if we don’t even count them

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By Katie Dupere
September 29, 2015

When Laverne Cox graced the cover of TIME magazine in 2014, the cover proclaimed that the United States was at a “transgender tipping point.” That bold statement has become a moment many point to as the beginning of transgender rights and identities becoming catapulted into the public eye.

But there is one powerful piece of the puzzle missing when it comes to thinking about transgender identities — we don’t actually know how many trans people are in the United States. Or the world, for that matter.

Census data has historically focused on the binary gender options: male and female. Emmy-nominated actress and transgender activist Laverne Cox is critical of that fact. The census doesn’t include her, and people like her, by assuming everyone is born into the gender they will forever identify.

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