Laverne Cox recently came under fire after she appeared in a video for  The Sylvia Rivera Law Project. In the video, Cox read a letter from incarcerated trans woman Synthia China Blast. Blast, who is transgender,  has been imprisoned in the state of New York for 21 years for the murder and rape of Ebony Williams in 1993.

In the letter read by Cox, Blast’s experiences while incarcerated are chronicled, as well as her work being a member of a Prison Advisory Committee (PAC) PAC is a “way to overcome the enormous state-created barriers to communication and political participation for the people who are most affected by the prison system.”

Cox’s backlash came after people assumed she was defending a rapist and murder, but she took to her Tumblr to explain:

When I agreed to participate in a recent Sylvia Rivera Law Project campaign, which involved me reading a letter from a member of their Prisoner Advisory Committee, I was not aware of the charges for which she was convicted. If I had been aware of those charges, I would have never agreed to read the letter.

To everyone who has been a supporter of me and my work, as well as for those who have found inspiration in my story, it is important for me to let you know that I have never, nor would I ever, support abuse or violence against anyone, especially a child like Ebony Nicole Williams. This is something I unequivocally do not support.

My intention was to highlight the horrific conditions many trans people experience during incarceration — to shed a light where often there is only darkness.

Cox has sense asked the organization to remove the video from their site. Even with the apology, we all know some people still won’t accept it, because of their own biases against transgender people.

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  • S.

    Women need to know what the Sylvia Rivera Law Project has been doing. I think we can all agree that any prisoner deserves nourishing food, basic health care, adequate housing, and to be treated with dignity. Having said this, men who are convicted of murdering women shouldn’t get taxpayer funded female hormones or sex reassignment surgery. They don’t deserve the honor of being called women much less taxpayer funded plastic surgery on their genitals.

    (1.) The Sylvia Rivera Law Project believes that men who are convicted of murdering women deserve tax payer funded sex reassignment surgery and hormones. Indeed, by the way they talk, it’s some sort of civil right. If males can get plastic surgery while incarcerated to feel “feminine” inside, then female inmates should get tax payer funded breast implants and other cosmetic surgery to feel more “feminine” and womanly. Who is to say that these women don’t suffer emotionally because their bodies don’t match up with how they feel inside. It’s an injustice.

    The Sylvia Rivera law project worked with convicted wife killer, Robert, “Michelle”, Kosilek. who killed his wife by strangling her with a piece of piano wire, nearly decapitating her.
    Kosiliek who received a life sentence is 60 years old. Why does a 60 year old lifer like Kosilek need sex reassignment surgery?

    Men who are convicted of murdering or raping women, or molesting a female child do not deserve the honor of being called women. Taxpayers should not have to pay for female hormones for convicted male murderers.

    (2.) In addition to supporting convicted killers of women, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project believes that violent males should be placed in correctional facilities for females. If the Sylvia Rivera Law Project had its way, the violent adolescent male known as “Jane Doe” would still be in a facility for girls where he could terrorize and seriously harm a female. The families of the teenage girls and the female staff members should all be grateful that the State of Connecticut finally came to its senses and placed this violent young man in a juvenile facility for boys before he seriously injured or killed a girl or female correctional officer.

    The male juvenile offender known as “Jane Doe” was placed in several facilities for girls, and eventually an adult women’s prison, but he kept assaulting girls and staff. The State of Connecticut finally threw up its hands and placed him in a juvenile facility for boys.

    Who speaks for the girls and female staff that he repeatedly assaulted?

    “…November 2013 pleaded guilty to assault on an officer”

    “Director of CJTS testified there were eleven occasions in which police were called to either a facility or program regarding an incident with the respondent.”

    “A supervisor from juvenile detention center in Bridgeport stated the respondent exhibited assaultive behaviors toward staff members, other juveniles….The supervisor stated that her behavior was more severe than other residents.

    ….CJTS director…specific behaviors that make the respondent especially dangerous and difficult to secure: an inability to de-escalate, targeting of female staff, and smearing feces……”…”The respondent then ripped at her (female correctional officer) and bit her, leaving puncture wounds. All three fell to the ground, after which the respondent, wearing army boots kicked and assaulted the staff member in the head, arm, face, and ear. The assaulted officer believes she was kicked six times. She estimated that the respondent weighed approximately 180 pounds and stood five foot eight inches compared to her 135 pounds and five foot five inches..”


    The Sylvia Rivera Law Project only thought of “Jane Doe”.

    Join Justice for Jane with the following demands

    Connecticut Department of Corrections:

    Do not violate “Jane Doe’s” protected status as a transgender woman by transferring her to a male facility.


    Transgender activists pulled out everything to “free Jane Doe”, and they said that he wasn’t convicted of anything. Their media p.r. team flew into a tizzy portraying poor, misunderstood “Jane Doe” as the victim. Read the actual court documents. “Jane Doe” plead guilty in November 2013 for assault on an officer. He was sent to an adult women’s prison because they didn’t know what to do with him. He continued to get into fights everywhere he went. The Department of Corrections finally came to its senses before he killed a girl or female guard. They finally sent him to a juvenile facility for boys.

  • CAsweetface

    I do not support Laverne “Trying to be white or Beyonce” Cox. Nope, I do not. And I dont believe her “apology.”

  • Phillygurl

    I am so glad to see we are speaking up for ourselves.

    • Me

      me too. i just wish the voting buttons didn’t go away.

    • Katie


      Me too.

  • Me

    i’m late to this convo but so glad to see other women speaking up on this topic. i’m sick & tired of MEN telling women how comfortable we should be w/them in our personal spaces. and the fact that cox (peep the irony in that name) would blindly support a convicted felon w/o doing research tells you exactly where trans alliance is. like i said in all those posts months ago, they play both sides of the fence & expect us to just suck it up & accept it. the fact that somebody who is advocating to reassign someone to a woman’s prison wouldn’t 1st & foremost CHECK TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE NOT A THREAT TO WOMEN TO BEGIN WITH tells you everything you need to know about our “allies” as they like to claim they are. the trans agenda is not about women’s rights & DEFINITELY not about bw’s rights. it’s about MEN who want to expand their privilege into dictating what a woman is & who can occupy designated women’s areas. oh & i got some choice words for that last line in the article too. really? b/c when women speak up for themselves & the obvious games trans folks are playing against us it’s gotta be outta bias? gtfoh! how about the author of this article volunteer to share spaces w/this china blast character & see whether or not folks are rightfully pissed that anyone would advocate for that beast to have full access to women & call that b/s apology out for what it is: a pr tactic to keep cox employed & plastered on the front of bw magazines. now let me see if cox will ever make a statement about the merciless killing of bw & bg and the lack of justice that exists for the very people cox is trying to convince people of belonging to. big @ss eyeroll!