As June comes to a close, many of our communities are winding down our LGBTQ Pride celebrations and events. It's been a refreshing month for many to come together and enjoy public support for visibility and social and political goals. I think it's great to set aside time to enjoy queering public spaces (while highlighting thoughtful criticism of mainstream or assimilation-oriented politics) but it's also important to remember that our struggles continue throughout the rest of the year, especially when it comes to queers suffering violence.
Many of you might be familiar with CeCe McDonald's unjust incarceration after defending herself against a white supremacist and transphobic attack. She's now being housed in a facility that does not reflect her gender identity, and will have to negotiate a lot of bureaucratic red tape to change her location if she determines it's unsafe. Her case highlights a number of issues, not least of which is the horrific violence queer people of color face from civilians, law enforcement, and the criminal justice system at large.
Queer people of color are more likely to experience sexual harassment and abuse not only from other inmates but prison employees as well. For trans* folks, many facilities are unable (or unwilling) to provide safe housing and protection for inmates, or support medical or social transition needs.
I encourage you to read about the incident that led to CeCe's arrest and subsequent conviction, as well as the protests and grassroots support for her well-being while serving her sentence. Please include CeCe in your prisoner letter writing this month (and the next, and the next!) to show your support.
Send letters to:
Minnesota Correctional Facility-St. Cloud
2305 Minnesota Boulevard S.E.
St. Cloud, MN. 5604
Guidelines for writing to CeCe can be found here.