Basic Rights Oregon stands proudly in solidarity with CeCe McDonald, a young African American transgender woman sentenced to 41 months in prison for defending herself in a violent attack . We are painfully aware of the transphobic violence taking place in this country and elsewhere – in the last few months alone, murders targeting trans women of color have occurred in Oakland, Detroit, Chicago, Washington D.C. and beyond.
Last summer, CeCe McDonald, a young African American transgender woman, was violently attacked in the heart of South Minneapolis. As she and several friends, also African American and queer or allied, were walking to the grocery store, a group of white adults standing outside a bar began shouting racist and transphobic insults at them and violence ensued. In the aftermath of this racist and transphobic attack, the only person facing charges was CeCe McDonald. Initially, she was charged with two counts of second degree murder, and on May 2nd CeCe accepted a plea agreement to a reduced charge of manslaughter in the second degree. She will be sentenced on June 4th to 41 months in prison, effectively for acting in self-defense when attacked.
Trans women of color face oppression within and outside of the criminal justice system. A report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs documented that people who were both transgender and of color were almost 2.5 times more likely to experience discrimination and nearly twice as likely to experience intimidation as non-transgender white individuals. Transgender women represented 44% of anti-LGBT murders in 2010 even though they accounted for just 11% of the total reports of hate violence.
At Basic Rights Oregon, we are dedicating to building political power within LGBT communities and ensuring that all Oregonians experience equality. We are working for trans justice and racial justice because we know that transphobia, homophobia, and racism are linked. We must recognize the multiple identities within our communities, and the multiple struggles that members of our communities face.
In supporting CeCe McDonald, we are not limited by geography, but rather united in the fight for justice. Please sign this petition to ask the Governor of Minnesota to pardon CeCe. And find out more about how you can support CeCe.
In response to CeCe’s case and ongoing violence against trans women of color, author and advocate Janet Mock has launched a Twitter campaign called #girlslikeus. Read more about about her campaign here.
To learn more about our work for trans justice in Oregon, sign the pledge.
Category: News: Transgender Justice