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Paramount Social Presents: Laverne Cox and a New Wave of Programming


If you missed the outrageous parties, the radio ads, and the larger than 75-foot tall blade attached to the building, we turned 100 years old in 2015, and we’re ready for another 100 more. That’s why we created Paramount Social Presents.

Paramount Social Presents, a new wave of programming, premiered its first event—a happy hour pre-show before Laverne Cox with local comic David Webb, trivia and raffle drawings to meet Laverne Cox after her show. We wanted a full-on celebration with Austin’s trans and LGBT groups. This celebration served as a kickoff for Paramount Social Presents, but also a new generation of identity for the theatre. We’re here to serve and empower our community—all of our community.

If you weren’t able to make it out, or if you just want to relive the moment, here are some of our favorite Laverne moments:

“It was so scary to transition. When you decide to transition, it’s a transition for everybody around you.” Laverne teared up as an audience member asked “who was the first person to call you Laverne rather than your birth name?” She took a few moments to catch her breath, wiped a few tears and stuttered out, “my brother”—when she told him, he simply replied, “Okay, Laverne.”

“They had cultural exposure that I didn’t have.” Laverne Cox attended Alabama School for Fine Arts, and expressed how she felt shamed for her race, class, and experienced her first racial slur at ASFA. (To make sure children in your community don’t feel this way, please check out the Paramount’s Access to the Arts)

“If we can find something that we are truly passionate about in this world, it can mean life.” Laverne talked about bullying—what she went through and what she thought about as an adult and how we can make a difference. 

Laverne’s messages we’re impactful and to sum it up in just a few of her words, “We all want to be affirmed in who we are.”

Paramount Theatre