The policies and protections that LGBT people enjoyed in the Obama era have not carried over into the Trump administration. Obama lifted the ban on trans people in the military and he gave lesbian, gays and trans people high-ranking positions in his administration.
But now that Obama is out of office, trans people like Laverne Cox (pictured) are struggling to find work.
Despite being one of the breakout stars of Orange Is the New Black, the openly transgender actor says doors are not opening up for him in Hollywood.
The 45-year-old actor shared his struggles at a Black History Month event held at Macy's, New York, on Thursday.
“Two years ago, I was in the waiting room with actresses who were like, ‘Oh my God, this is my fourth audition today'. And I was like, ‘Oh, I’ve never auditioned that much,’" the actor told the audience. "There have never been that many parts as a black, openly transgender woman, because I am who I am, there probably have been fewer opportunities for me to work.”
Laverne was one of the prominent voices and faces of the LGBT movement in the Obama-era, becoming the first openly transgender person to appear on the cover of Time magazine and any Cosmopolitan magazine.
Despite the difficulties of finding work in Hollywood, Laverne does count his blessings, and is always thinking of ways to share them.
“Certainly there are fewer opportunities for someone like me being black and being trans and being a woman. In the face of that, it’s not bad,” Laverne said. “The truth is I’m one of the lucky ones. The question for me becomes, as I produce, how to bring other people along for the ride.”