Laverne Cox has "always felt unsafe".
The transgender actress, 31, revealed she constantly fears for her safety after growing up surrounded by bullies and being physically attacked by a stranger in the street.
She explained: "As a black transgender woman, I've always felt unsafe. I grew up in lots of violence. I call it bullying, but it's really violence. I've been kicked on the street before. I took the subway for the first time in a while the other day, and there's just something about being in New York that makes me very ... I'm just programmed as a New Yorker to always be looking around, so I've never felt safe."
Laverne - who plays transgender prison inmate Sophia in 'Orange Is The New Black' - is hoping to raise awareness of the difficulties she has faced by executive producing a documentary 'Free CeCe!', about the life of CeCe McDonald, "a trans African-American woman, [who] survived a violent, racist and transphobic attack and served time in a men's prison in Minnesota."
The raven-haired beauty is now in the process of raising funds for the programme and admitted she has learnt a great deal from working alongside CeCe.
She told PEOPLE: "We are trying to raise post-production funds for it right now with our Indiegogo campaign.
"I've learned that you can survive and that you can use your voice and your story to inspire people and lift people up and that you can tell the truth and not just be a statistic."