Laverne Cox gave Rickey, a transgender man from Kansas City, Missouri, the surprise of a lifetime when she met him for Ellen DeGeneres’ new digital series “Fearless.”
The series, hosted by model Ashley Graham, is aimed at “empowering everyday people to be totally, unapologetically fearless.” This episode introduced Rickey, 25, who comes from a conservative family. Rickey explained his struggles being transgender saying that he wears baggy hoodies to conceal his chest until he gets top surgery.
“The hoodies … it’s to hide my chest because I have to bind, and it makes me flat-chested, and they don’t know,” Rickey says. “Top surgery will make me more confident in myself because I feel trapped right now. But, this is who I am, and I don’t have to hide it anymore.”
Rickey told Graham one of his low points saying “I used to get up like 5 in the morning to take showers so I wouldn’t have to look at myself in the mirror.”
Graham says she wants to introduce him to someone who can relate to his struggles. When Rickey sees actress and transgender activist Cox, he breaks down into tears. Cox is the first openly transgender person he’s met.
Cox listened to Rickey’s journey and offered some advice.
“My work has been to love myself at every phase ― to be able to look in the mirror every day and say, ‘You are beautiful,'” Cox says. “Everyone should be able to actualize themselves. Our journey is a little bit different than other people’s, but it’s the same journey,” the actress, author and activist says. “We’re just trying to be the best us we can be.”
Cox and Graham then offer Rickey $10,000 towards his surgery.