Today, RollingStone magazine ran a feature story about CeCe McDonald, a trans woman of color whose story gained national attention after she was arrested and charged for the death of her own attacker. GLAAD provided background information and resources about transgender people over the past several months to writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely.
In 2011, CeCe and her friends were walking past a local Minneapolis bar when they were accosted with racist, homophobic, and transphobic slurs by group of white patrons. One of the patrons smashed a glass across CeCe's face, leaving her with a gash through her salivary gland. A fight ensued, and one of her attackers was fatally stabbed.
While the details of the attack have bene reported on more widely, including in this article, RollingStone writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely spoke with CeCe about her early life in Chicago, the stigma she faced at school – and at times, from her family – because of how she expressed her identity, and the abuse she endured as a homeless 14-year-old.
CeCe also related how she found support at a drop-in youth center after moving to Minneapolis, gained access to trans-inclusive healthcare, secured a legal name change, enrolled in school studying fashion design, and eventually found her own apartment, where she lived for only a month before being attacked and imprisoned.
Throughout the article, Sabrina contextualizes CeCe's story with information on the widespread issues facing transgender people, and particularly trans women of color, and input from CeCe's peers and friends, including transgender actress Laverne Cox. Cox is a co-producer of the upcoming documentary film, FREE CECE, about CeCe McDonald's life.
Across many areas of life, trans people face varying levels of harassment, discrimination, assault, and more. In a supplemental article for RollingStone, Sabrina interviewed several trans women about their experiences with violence and danger. A third article looks at scientific explorations of gender identity.