On June 5th, 2011, Cece McDonald, a young trans woman of color, was walking in the street with her friends when one white man and two white women attacked her with transphobic, racist language which eventually escalated to physical violence in which Cece’s salivary gland was damaged. She tried to defend herself with a pair of scissors, and ended up stabbing the white male attacker, fatally wounding him.
She alone was arrested, and charged with second degree murder. On June 4th, 2012, she was sentenced to 41 months in prison.
Cece will first serve in a men’s prison, after which the state will make their “own determination of McDonald’s gender,” according to the StarTribune Minneapolis.
I’ve hesitated a long time before posting on this. It’s hard to know what to say. For Cece McDonald, and women like her, this country, this world, shows itself to be completely devoid of justice. The changes that need to happen for women like Cece to be safe and have justice in our country are deep, structural, radical. And they need to happen.
Across the nation, people are doing what they can for Cece. Here’s the Support Cece McDonald website, where you can get updates, print out posters, read her blog, and write her letters. Our own GendeRevolution is doing a letter-writing campaign–get involved here. And keep apprised of any new updates–all of us have to be informed of what goes on with issues such as these, that yoke racism, transmisogyny, cissexism, and police and legal discrimination.
This culture needs an overhaul. When we can have nightmarish moments where the young, innocent, and multiply oppressed can find not a speck of justice, we know we have a broken system on our hands. What are we going to to? How are we going to deconstruct? How are we going to rebuild? How are we going to heal? Where are we going to find the courage?
Ask yourself these questions, but also, take action. Even together, it’s not enough. But we have to start somewhere.