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Laverne Cox On The Books That Changed Her Life

The Orange Is The New Black star and host of MTV's upcoming The T Word sat down with BuzzFeed to share the novels that are necessary for anyone's reading list.

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"Eartha's book, the first paragraph of it I was bawling."

Confessions Of A Sex Kitten was so major. Eartha Kitt is a huge possibility idol for me. The thing about women like Eartha Kitt, Lena Horne, and Diahann Carroll — these black artists in the '40s, '50s, and '60s — they were making a way out of no way. Eartha's book, the first paragraph of it I was bawling. It's just so deep! Her love life I can so relate to as a trans woman. She dated a lot of white men, who dated her privately. They would never date her openly or marry her. That's something I can certainly relate to as a trans woman. She is brilliant and amazing and sexy and smart and political! She was blacklisted for like 10 years. Eartha Kitt is everything, may she rest in peace.

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"This got me through a really difficult breakup. It made me think about issues of co-dependence and letting go."

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"Her work around vulnerability and shame, that has truly changed my life."

It's really Brene Brown's body of work. Her work around vulnerability and shame, that has truly changed my life. Shame has been such a huge story in my life. As a black trans woman I've internalized a lot of shame around those identity groups. This book, and her entire body of work, has been crucial in getting me to rethink shame in my life and build shame resilience.

"I read this in college and it totally made me think differently about the world around me in terms of race, class, and gender. It awakened my critical consciousness."