“Orange is the New Black” is coming to the Red and the Blue.
Laverne Cox, a transgender actress, writer, producer and activist will be the keynote speaker for QPenn 2014, which kicks off its events on March 23. She is well-known for her role as Sophia Burset on the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black,” and she was recently named the keynote speaker for this year’s National Conference on LGBT Equality.
According to College sophomore Andre Ficerai, co-chair of QPenn, the choice to bring Cox to campus is a way to draw attention to lesser-known issues within the LGBTQ community, especially those of transgender women of color.
Last year’s QPenn keynote speaker was Janet Mock, who is also an activist and a transgender woman of color, and while Ficerai said the topic wasn’t the only option considered, QPenn was happy to be able to bring up these issues once again with Cox’s talk.
“It was a conscious decision that we wanted that conversation to be continued in some way,” he said.
Ficerai hopes that Cox’s trip to campus, in addition to her prominent television role, will demonstrate “the fact that the trans community is getting increased visibility.”
“Trans individuals are people with their own experiences who have much more to share than just that physical shift,” Ficerai said.
Tickets went on sale less than a week ago, and Ficerai said that 125 have already been sold.
Tickets are $10 and may be purchased online using Venmo or on Locust Walk closer to the event. The event will be held at 7 p.m. on March 25 in Meyerson Hall.