Black Transgender Defendant Deserves Support

CeCe McDonald (ColorLines)
CeCe McDonald (ColorLines)

Kenyon Farrow argues in a piece for ColorLines that, the issue of innocence aside, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community must not abandon CeCe McDonald.


This week CeCe McDonald, the young black transgender woman on trial for murdering a white man who’d attacked her and a group of friends, shocked many of her supporters. Many thought she’d plead innocent to the second-degree murder charges, since the weapon was never found, and the case against her is largely circumstantial. But instead of pleading her innocence at the beginning of her trail, McDonald accepted a deal and pled guilty to a lesser charge of second-degree manslaughter.

This case, more than any other of the numerous cases of black LGBT people accused of crimes after getting the better of an attacker, seemed to galvanize not only the transgender community and allies, but the attention of national press outlets, including MSNBC, Democracy Now!, The Advocate, Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and many others. While many of us were hoping to see McDonald fight the charges and hopefully win an acquittal, I certainly hope that the transgender activists, the LGBT community and other allies don’t abandon McDonald, as is so often the case when the question of being “innocent” becomes the framework for the investment of sympathizers.

Read Kenyon Farrow's entire piece at ColorLines.

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