At Idealist, we love good ideas of all kinds, but especially those that turn commonly-accepted notions on their heads, get us to confront our beliefs, and (maybe) stir up a little trouble. To honor ideas brave and bold, and inspired by Sydney, Australia’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas, we welcome you to Idealist in Action’s Dangerous Ideas Week.
Today’s inspiration: actress and activist Laverne Cox.
Last month, Laverne Cox appeared alongside model Carmen Carrera on Katie Couric’s daytime TV talk show Katie. During what was meant to be a special show to raise awareness about issues facing transgender individuals, both women ended up facing a series of awkward and personal questions about their bodies.
Which they rebuffed in a super-classy way.
The interview has made its way around the internet because both women totally schooled Couric on how to respectfully talk to (and interview) trans people, which was pretty amazing to hear.
While the entire interview is inspiring, one of the most striking moments is when Couric asks Cox about whether or not she considers herself a role model. In her response, Cox coins a fantastic new term more of us should start employing:
I would never be so arrogant to think that someone should model their lives after me, but the idea of possibility. The idea that I get to live my dreams out in public hopefully will show other folks that that is possible. And so I prefer the term ‘possibility model’ to ‘role model.’
Thank you, Laverne, for changing the conversation from what we should be, to what we could be.
Also worth watching is Cox’s recent keynote address at the Creating Change 2014 conference earlier this week.