"At the end of the day, I understand that I'm just a storyteller. Even in my advocacy, I'm really telling stories," Cox says

By Amanda Michelle Steiner and Abby Stern
Updated May 21, 2015 01:30 PM
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Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

As the winner of a Daytime Emmy Award for her MTV docuseries, Laverne Cox could find her work as an entertainer colliding with her work as an activist and outspoken advocate for LGBT rights.

However, Cox, 30, maintains that being an actress comes first, which can sometimes be challenging.

“The work of being an artist is about it’s not about being politically correct,” said Cox on a panel for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ screening of Orange Is the New Black in West Hollywood on Wednesday. “It’s not always about making people happy. It’s not about always being careful what you say, and I love that space of being an artist, and that is what I always prioritize.”

The platform afforded to her by OITNB, which returns for its third season June 12, is “very new,” she added, but she’s “learning. At the end of the day, I understand that I’m just a storyteller. Even in my advocacy, I’m really telling stories.”

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In producing Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word, “I was just giving other trans people a platform to tell their stories,” Cox said. “I think through telling our stories we can make connections to people and raise awareness – critical awareness – and begin conversations that hopefully inspire social change.”