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Though 2020 was a rough year for many, one bright spot in what many have dubbed “the year from hell” for Laverne Cox was that she fell in love. The “Orange Is The New Black” actress made the sweet revelation during a Thursday appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

“[Found love in 2020] almost sounds like a punchline, but, yeah, Laverne is in love again and it feels amazing,” she gushed. “Love is an incredible thing. It’s literally this chemical thing that’s awesome and he is a really great guy and I didn’t expect it.”

The 48-year-old admits that she didn’t expect much to become of the romance when she and her new beau first connected, but she was pleasantly surprised when the relationship began to naturally blossom.

“I thought he was going to be this hot dude I was hanging out with and then it just kind of happened,” she confessed. “We’ve been hanging out for six months and we went really slowly. So, the world ‘love’ sort of happened around November/December. So, yeah, it’s been six months, I guess.”

Though she did not disclose the identity of her new partner, she did reveal that she is the first trans woman he has ever dated.

“This guy, I don’t want to say too much because he is probably watching, but he has never dated a trans woman before,” she told Ellen. “My last two boyfriends had also never dated a trans woman before. And the interesting thing is that when you are famous, you want [your partner] to be really discreet,” she went on. “In the past, guys have been like, ‘Don’t tell anybody’ and now I’m like, ‘Don’t tell anybody.'”

Cox also explained that in the past, lovers have wanted to keep their relationship a secret because they didn’t want people to label them as gay.

“But the issue over the years for me as a trans woman and other trans women is that the womanhood of trans women is often disavowed. A lot of people don’t see trans women as women,” she said. “So, the men that are attracted to women, people think they are gay. And if you are a straight man, you don’t want people to think you’re gay. So, a lot of the times they don’t want to disclose or want to let anyone know.”

“People don’t get it. People just don’t understand it,” Cox went on to say after sharing an anecdote of a man she met on Clubhouse whose friend couldn’t understand his attraction to cis and trans women. “It’s really sad. I wish we were in a different place, but we are just not here yet. We need a guy who is probably famous and articulate to be able to talk about this.”

Cox’s new podcast, “The Laverne Cox” show is set to premiere on February 4. She admits that while she would love to have a celebrity man on the show to discuss the topic, she finds that most guys aren’t “articulate” when it comes to discussing trans women.

Watch her full interview below.

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