"I'm [feeling] pretty awesome," Cox told People. "I don't feel coherent. I'm just like a giddy, effervescent creature of the universe who is blessed and highly favored."
Cox's nomination is a first, because she is an openly transgender woman. She said she didn't believe the news at first, so went online to check it for herself.
"I jumped up and down and then cried," she remembered. "My agent of seven years, Paul, was the first person to call me. I'd auditioned for other agents in the past who all told me, 'I can't do anything with you, you're trans, I don't think you'll be able to get work.' But Paul saw something in me and took a chance."
The news is important for her, but she also knows how important it is for the transgender community. She explained, "I'm aware that I'm the first openly trans woman to be nominated for an acting Emmy.
"I'm just really proud of who I am. I love myself today — and I don't everyday. It's something I have to work at. My career and my life changed when I started accepting and embracing myself more. I hope this inspires my other black, trans folks to pursue their dreams, too."
Cox hasn't thought about the possibility of winning and is nominated along with her OITNB cast mates, Natasha Lyonne and Uzo Aduba, in the category. She said Aduba is a "shoo-in" and, for now, she is just worried about her dress.
"It's a ton of pressure," she said. "I'm hoping to be wearing some couture something. But I want to get my body tight. I should head to the gym and do the rest of my interviews on the elliptical!"
The 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards are coming up on Monday, Aug. 25.
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