Transgender 'OINTB' star Laverne Cox makes Emmy history

Laverne Cox at the 2014 Gay Pride March on June 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty)
Laverne Cox at the 2014 Gay Pride March on June 29, 2014 in New York City.

Actress Laverne Cox is breaking new ground and feeling the love.

Cox is the first transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy Award. The co-star of the popular Netflix series "Orange is the New Black," Cox received a nomination in the category “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series” for her role as Sophia Burset, a former firefighter who commits credit card fraud to pay for sex reassignment surgery.

“I was told many times that I wouldn’t be able to have a mainstream career as an actor because I’m trans, because I’m black, and here I am,” Cox told Time magazine, which made her its first transgender cover subject in the June 9 issue. “And it feels really good.”

In "Orange is the New Black," Cox’s character deals with backlash from family and coworkers as she makes the decision to come out as transgender. The series focuses on a group of women in prison, and it garnered 12 Emmy nominations, five of which were in categories for acting.

“Today, countless transgender youth will hear the message that they can be who they are and still achieve their dreams — nothing is out of reach,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement. “Laverne’s success on a hit series is a clear indication that audiences are ready for more trans characters on television.”

Cox credits director and actress Jodi Foster for the nomination, according to USA Today. Foster directed Cox in the season 1 episode in which Sophia has a flashback about coming out. The actress, who was honored to become a history-making black leader in the annual Grio 100, told the publication that she plans to take her mom as a date to the awards ceremony, which will take place on August 25.