Actress and transgender rights advocate Laverne Cox said she and a friend were the victims of transphobic harassment while on a stroll through a Los Angeles park on Saturday.

In an Instagram video, the Orange Is The New Black star said during their walk through Griffith Park, a man approached them and asked for the time in an aggressive and rude manner. After a brief verbal exchange, the man suddenly attacked Cox’s friend.

“So I’m in shock and I’m triggered,” she said before giving her account.

Cox went on to explain in the video that she was in “incognegro” mode during the “socially-distanced” walk and wore a hoodie with a face mask. She said her time as a New Yorker made her hesitant to speak to strangers, but the man that attacked her friend seemed intent on interacting with them.

"The friend that I’m with looks at his watch and tells him the time, and then the guy who asked for the time says to my friend: ‘Guy or girl?' My friend says, ‘F***k off.’ I’m walking, and I’m hearing all of this is happening in a split second. Then all of a sudden, the guy was attacking my friend," Cox said.

“I look back and I’m like, ‘What is happening?’ The guy is like hitting my friend,” she said. “I pull out my phone and I call to dial 911, and all of a sudden it’s over and the guy is gone.”

Following the encounter, Cox said she and her friend surmised that the assailant was likely trying to figure out “whether I’m trans or not.”

"The guy really wanted me to answer so that he could spook whether I'm trans or not," Cox said. "I don't know why, I don't know why it matters. At the end of the day, it's like who cares? I'm in a hoodie and yoga pants, I'm completely covered up, I've got my mask on, who cares if I'm trans? How does this affect your life?"

In sharing the triggering event, Cox received support and well wishes from thousands of fans including Virginia Delegate Danica Roem, the state’s first openly trans lawmaker.

“My heart goes out to @Lavernecox, her friend and every trans person who knows exactly what they experienced,” Roem wrote on Twitter. ”It doesn't matter what status you hold: when you're trans, you're trans, and some people lose their minds over it, even when you're just minding your own business.”

Cox’s recounting of the encounter comes a week after activists called for an end to violence against the transgender community following the death of Chae’Meshia Simms in Richmond, Virginia. As Blavity previously
reported, Simms, the 39th known trans person violently killed this year, was found with a gunshot wound inside a car that had crashed into a garage. A man was later said to be seen leaving the vicinity of the crash in the early hours of the morning.

In a recent study, trans rights organization Transrespect Versus Transphobia found at least 350 trans lives have been lost due to violence around the world between September 2019 and September 2020. Nearly 80% of those killed in America were people of color.