Laverne Cox is finally embracing her age. The Inventing Anna actress became a breakout star for her role as Sophia in Orange Is the New Black and she’s openly talked about her experience as a transgender woman. She even made history as the first transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in an acting category for her role in the Netflix series. But while she was proud to be trans, she struggled to accept that she was aging.
Laverne made the reveal during a sit-down with Ellen DeGeneres on her eponymous talk show. “I started lying, being elusive about my age in the year 2000," she said. “I was 28 years old and I was dating a guy that was 21 and he broke up with me because he said I was too old.”
“And I was like, 'Oh if I'm too old, I'll just be 22, and so for the next two years on my dating apps and online I was 22 everywhere and then I didn’t feel comfortable lying so over 21 became my age.”
She continued, "So I was 'over 21' from 2002 to like 2019. And then IMDb figured out my real age, and then, so it started appearing places and it was freaking me out. I was having such anxiety."
Her anxiety about her age being exposed led her to open up to her therapist about it. "I started unpacking these stories about being older," she said. "The stories were that I wasn't hireable, I wasn't datable, I wasn't ‘f-able’ over a certain age – apparently the age was like 27 [or] 28 — and then I worked through all that."
Now, the actress isn’t ashamed to say that she is turning 50 this year. Laverne reflected on the first time she said her real age out loud. “I was at a speaking engagement in Texas in January 2019 and I thought the sky was gonna fall and it was nothing,” she said.
That experience was a reminder for her that some things are just all in your head. “I am proudly 49 about to turn 50 and I am so happy and excited to be able to own it,” she shared.
Watch the full interview below:
Why Laverne Cox Isn't Lying About Her Age Anymore
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