Trans actress Laverne Cox greets trans prisoner CeCe McDonald upon release
Trans woman CeCe McDonald, who was sentenced to 41 months for manslaughter in a men’s prison facility in Minnesota, USA, after defending herself from a racist transphobic attack, was released from prison yesterday. On hand to meet her was trans actress Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black) who had campaigned tirelessly for McDonald's release.
McDonald was released from prison almost a year ahead of schedule.
Before her incarcertation, Mcdonald was a promising fashion design student. The course of her life changed after a fateful evening in 2011.
McDonald and a group of LGBTIQ allied friends were walking past the Schooner Tavern on the night of June 5, 2011, when a group of white youths began shouting insults at them, calling them ‘niggers, faggots and chicks with dicks’.
When McDonald approached them and told them to stop using hate speech she was challenged by a girl in the group who went on to stab McDonald with a glass to the face (using such force she lacerated her cheek all the way through to the saliva gland). A fight broke out, during which Dean Schmitz was fatally wounded.
McDonald was the only person arrested during the affray. Despite a vocal group of supporters and a ‘Free CeCe’ campaign which made global headlines, the prosecutor assigned to the case decided to go ahead with prosecution and upped the charge to second degree murder, at which point CeCe plead to a lesser charge of manslaughter.
She was then sentenced to imprisonment at the St Cloud’s Men’s Prison in Minnesota, despite her obvious status as a trans woman.
Actress Laverne Cox has been campaigning for CeCe’s release and is currently working on a documentary about her. She was on hand to greet CeCe when she was released.
Last week Cox made headlines after an appearance on Katie Couric's show in which she gave the former GMA presenter a serve for her probing questions on reassignment surgery.
Watch the clip below