'Orange Is the New Black' Star Laverne Cox to Receive GLAAD Award

 Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Laverne Cox, the captivating actress who plays a trans woman serving time for credit card fraud on breakout Netflix hit Orange Is the New Black, has been named the recipient of GLAAD's Stephen F. Kolzak Award.

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The award, which will be presented at the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on Apr. 12, is presented to a figure who has made a significant difference in the promotion of LGBTQ equality. Past winners include Ellen DeGeneres, Wanda Sykes, Melissa Etheridge, Rufus Wainwright and Sir Ian McKellen.

Cox is the first trans woman of color to have a starring role on a major scripted TV series. She'll return for the show's second season, which bows on June 6.

"Laverne Cox has reshaped the way Americans see transgender people and raised the bar in diverse representations of the LGBT community in entertainment," said GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement. "She is not only a talented actress but a truly transformational leader in the LGBT equality movement."

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Cox will be presented with the award by Ellen Page, which will mark the Juno star's first public appearance since coming out as a gay woman at a Human Rights Campaign symposium on gay youth held in February in Las Vegas.

The GLAAD Media Awards will be at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Jennifer Lopez will also be on hand to accept the Vanguard Award.

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