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A Roadmap for Change: Foreword

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This interview with CeCe McDonald was conducted by Aisha Moodie-Mills for adaptation as the foreword in “A Roadmap for Change: Federal Policy Recommendations for Addressing the Criminalization of LGBT People and People Living with HIV.” Listen to the full interview here.

As a black transwoman, I am used to facing discrimination based on gender identity and race.

I have been stopped many times by officers who use inaccurate stereotypes to justify harassing me and my peers. The night of June 5th, 2011 was no different. I went out with friends to a grocery store, and on the way we were stopped by officers who had gotten a “noise complaint” in the area. In a neighborhood full of loud bars closing down, my friends and I knew all too well that these officers were racially profiling a group of black youth who were “up to no good.”

They eventually stopped harassing us and we continued toward the store until we passed a group of white people outside a bar who began spewing racial epithets at us. I know that exchanges such as these never end well, so my first instinct was to get away.

Read more here.

This article was originally published in Columbia Law School Center for Gender & Sexuality Law.

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