Laverne Cox is everywhere. She’s on the cover of TIME Magazine this week — the first transgender woman to do so — and the second season of her show, Netflix series Orange is the New Black premieres on June 6. She has also travelled the country as a trans* advocate. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that one of her many projects involves producing and starring in Free CeCe, a documentary about the culture of violence and trans-misogyny faced by trans* women of color.
For the film, Cox, who plays an incarcerated trans* woman of color on Orange is the New Black, has teamed up with CeCe McDonald, a transgendered woman who was incarcerated for 19 months.
In June 2012, McDonald was sentenced to 41 months in a men’s prison for a death that occurred when she was defending herself against a violent, racist and transphobic attack.
Since the beginning of the project in 2013, Cox and McDonald have raised over $50,000 with an Indiegogo campaign that allowed for the filming of Cox’s interview with McDonald in prison and McDonald’s subsequent release on January 23, 2014. The funds were also used to tell the story of other trans* women of color who have been confronted with violence, including some whose attacks resulted in their deaths.
Though the documentary tells the stories of several trans* individuals, it also aims to become a tool used for fighting for public policy and legislation for trans* people.
We here at The Visibility Project are thrilled about this project and we expect if you’re reading this you are too. Don’t stop there, tell a friend to tell a friend about ‘Free CeCe.’ The Indiegogo campaign has ended and filming is complete but this fight for our trans* sisters is just beginning.
For more information about Free CeCe and how you can contribute, visit the official Free CeCe website.