New York, NY -- Today GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, joined Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC) and Trans Youth Support Network (TYSN) in launching “You Are Not Alone, CeCe: Support CeCe McDonald.” The campaign aims to spread awareness about CeCe McDonald’s case and the everyday harsh realities that transgender people face. Anti-transgender discrimination is a growing issue and the need to advocate for the transgender community has become even more urgent. The time has come for us all to take action.
For more information on how you can take action, please visit: www.glaad.org/supportcece
“The history of violence that follows trans people, especially trans women of color, within the penal system is well-documented,” says Kylar Broadus of TPOCC, who recently made history by becoming the first transgender person to testify before the U.S. Senate.
“You Are Not Alone, CeCe” is a call for fair and accurate media coverage on the story of CeCe McDonald. She has been victimized after defending herself—a much too common reality for transgender women of color like CeCe. On June 4, 2011, her court case came to an end when CeCe was sentenced to 41 months in prison—yet the fight for fair treatment and advocacy against anti-trans violence must and will continue.
CeCe’s case is not unique, but represents a growing issue for the transgender community, especially transgender people of color like Brandy Martell and Paige Clay. Janet Mock, an editor for People.com and an advocate for transgender equality, understands this firsthand as reported by QWOC: "Mock does not accept society’s rejection of trans women, emphatically stating in the same post that 'I will never depart from my core belief that CeCe and Paige and thousands of other girls like us matter.'"
Katie Burgess of TYSN also understands the growing need for a community call to action to advocate for the trans community.
"The Minnesota Department of Corrections is at a crossroads," says Katie Burgess, executive director of the Trans Youth Support Network. "As we continue to pour our support behind CeCe, the chances of her survival within this system are exponentially greater. We also begin to expose the unjust conditions for all incarcerated individuals at the hands of the prison system and perhaps start to think critically, especially within the LGBT community, about what justice truly looks like for us."
Over the next 41 months, GLAAD, TPOCC and TYSN will continue to work together and monitor media coverage regarding CeCe. We will be outspoken on the need for protections and greater media sensitivity when covering these stories that have traditionally marginalized and dehumanized the transgender community.
Visit www.glaad.org/supportcece to learn how you can write letters of support to CeCe, heighten visibility and take action today.