CeCe MacDonald Needs Your Help

Cis allies: this is where the rubber meets the road in terms of supporting the trans community. Trans siblings: this is a perfect example of a time when we must support each other.


Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald is a young African American transgender woman charged with “second degree murder” after an incident that began when she was violently attacked because of her gender and race.

CeCe is a creative and energetic person who, before her life was so unjustly interrupted, was studying fashion at MCTC. She had a stable home where she lived with and helped support four other African American youth, her family. CeCe’s family describes her as a leader, a role model, and a loyal friend. She is known as a wise, out-spoken, and welcoming person, with a cheerful disposition and a history of handling prejudice with amazing grace.

Around 12:30 am on June 5, CeCe and four of her friends (all of them black) were on their way to Cub Foods to get some food. As they walked past Schooner’s Bar in South Minneapolis, a man and two women (all of them white) began to yell epithets at them. They called CeCe and her friends ‘faggots,’ ‘niggers,’ and ‘chicks with dicks,’ amongst other things.

As they were shouting, one of the women smashed her drink into the side of CeCe’s face, slicing her cheek open, lacerating her salivary gland, and stinging her eyes with liquor. A fight ensued, with more people joining in. What happened during the fight is unclear, but within a few minutes Dean Schmitz–one of the attackers–had been stabbed.

CeCe was later arrested, and is now falsely accused of murder

For a month, CeCe was kept in solitary confinement “for her own protection”; she had no say in this matter. Finally, she was transferred to a psychiatric unit in the Public Safety Facility. It was nearly two months before she was taken back to a doctor to check up on the wound on her face, which by then had turned into a painful, golf ball-sized lump.

Later on, CeCe’s friends were harassed on the street by people they recognized from the scene of the fight. Individuals circled the block that CeCe’s friends were walking on and called them ‘niggers’ and ‘faggots’ and told them to ‘go back to Africa.’ When they attempted to wave down a passing squad car for assistance, the officer driving the car said he would not help them.

The website has all kinds of great ways to help. Many of them don’t even require you to leave your home. You can donate to help her with her bail. Every bit helps! You can write letters– to the editor, or in support of Cece. You can repost this far and wide. Any of my readers in South Minneapolis (do I have any?), or any of my readers from throughout the nation who feel like making a road trip, can show up to support her in court. You can distribute these great fliers.

But please, even if the only thing you do is spread the word by twittering, facebooking, tumblring or emailing this to friends, do not read this and do nothing.

About Asher

Asher Bauer is fast becoming a fixture in the San Francisco kink community, and intends to stay that way. He has worked as a Queer Educator at LYRIC (Lavender Youth Recreation And Information Center), and since has taken his talents as an educator to a wider variety of audiences, teaching on subjects ranging from safer sex to BDSM to trans and queer identities. He is also one of the hosts and originators of Transmission, the new trans-centric party at the San Francisco Citadel, and Invasion, the Citadel's all-genders queer party. View all posts by Asher

4 Responses to “CeCe MacDonald Needs Your Help”

  • inoculatedcity

    The “Call in to get CeCe out of solitary!” and “Fundraise and donate” links on that page aren’t currently working – anyone know the info for those two items?

  • Ethan Kincaid

    Reposted. Thank you for making us aware of this disgusting situation.

  • Billy Navarro Jr.

    October 6, 2011

    Contact: Katie Burgess (Executive Director, Trans Youth Support Network) & Billy Navarro Jr. (MN Transgender Health Coalition) –
    Minneapolis, MN – In a clear retaliatory move against Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald for her earlier refusal of a plea bargain, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office amended the complaint against her this afternoon, October 6, adding a charge of 2nd degree murder with intent in addition to her previous charge of 2nd degree murder without intent. Additionally, the prosecution hinted at a motion to raise bail but did not, in the end, raise the motion, since McDonald has already been released on bond. McDonald maintains that she has been falsely accused, noting that the incident that resulted in Dean Schmitz’s death began when she was violently attacked for her race and gender while walking to the grocery store. McDonald was released on bail earlier this week.
    Supporters believe that the prosecution increased the charges against McDonald as further retaliation for her recent refusal to agree to a plea bargain offered on September 22. The prosecution has also asked to move McDonald’s trial up to December 12. Supporters object to the earlier court date, which appears to be an attempt to stifle community mobilization to support McDonald in court, and limit the defense’s time to prepare for trial. The defense has requested that McDonald’s trial date be returned to the original date of January 9.
    McDonald and her supporters note that the new, harsher charge demonstrates that the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office continues to side with the white supremacists who attacked her and fail to acknowledge the hate crime that McDonald sustained. Katie Burgess, Executive Director of the Trans Youth Support Network, had this to say after Thursday’s hearing: “There is a clear choice to be made in this situation: do you stand with white supremacists? Or do you stand with queer youth of color in our community? Hennepin County has chosen to protect the interests of hate and bigotry. As people of conscience and compassion, we’re calling on them to exercise their discretion in this case and drop the charges against CeCe!”
    McDonald was released from the Hennepin County Jail on Tuesday night, after a final push from her Support Committee to raise the cost of bond. Community supporters will continue to fundraise to offset trial costs. McDonald sent out this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can. Hate cannot drive out, hate only love can.”
    McDonald’s trial is tentatively scheduled to begin on January 9, and supporters have vowed to pack the courtroom for the trial and any future hearings. Visit http://supportcece.wordpress.com or email for more information.

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