With her portrayal of trans woman prisoner, Sophia Burset, onOrange Is The New Black, Laverne Cox's name is suddenly on everyone's lips. The actress and model brings an incredible amount of depth to the role, something rarely seen in transgender characters on television. In fact, her character may be the first time many viewers have seen a transgender person on TV or seen their characters portrayed with such complexity and truth, with some claiming she "broke the trans glass ceiling."
Until recently, Cox was best known as a contestant on the first season of VH1's I Want to Work for Diddy, followed by producing and co-hosting the VH1 makeover show, TRANSform Me, making her the first African-American transgender woman to produce and star in her own TV show. In 2012, she worked with GLAAD on the I AM: Trans People Speak, a campaign to educate the public on the diversity of the transgender communities and continues to work on trans advocacy.