Digital Transgender Archive

Free CeCe McDonald Panel

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Laverne Cox is the executive producer of the Netflix original series, Orange is the New Black. She plays Sophia Burset, an incarcerated African American transgender woman. Cox is a renowned speaker whose insights are featured on CNN, MSNBC, HLN, VH1, and Fox News Latino. Cox is the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show. Her work as an actress and advocate recently landed her on the cover of Time Magazine as well as the Critic’s Choice nomination for best supporting actress. In 2013, Cox won best supporting actress at the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival for her work in the critically acclaimed film Musical Chairs, directed by Susan Seidelman, Desperately Seeking Susan. Cox’s other acting credits include the independent films Carla and The Exhibitionists. She produced and starred in VH1’s Transforming which was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award. She is the recipient of awards from the Anti-Violence Project and Opportunity Agenda. Most recently, Cox accepted the Stephen F. Kolzak Award in 2014 for the GLAAD Media Awards in L.A. And also, she played Dr. Frank-N-Furter in Rocky Horror. Jac Gares is a director and producer. She is a New York-based filmmaker. Free CeCe! is her directorial debut documentary feature film. For five years, Gares served as producer and supervising producer of In the Life on public television. Her work garnered awards from NLG, JA, GLAAD and Webbys. She produces specials and documentaries for the History Channel, Food Network, USA Network and PBS’ premier non-fiction film showcase, POV, the American documentary. The first documentary she produced about genetic testing and Alzheimer’s disease, Unraveled, won a Freddie Award in 2008. Her short film Remnant won a Telly Award in 1999. Gares has a B.A. in English Literature from Rutgers University and an M.A. in Media Studies from the New School. She was named Go Magazine’s 100 Women We Love, was featured in Cahiers du Cinema and is a proud 2014 Jerome Foundation Emerging Film/Video Artist grantee. Andrea Jenkins is a poet, a historian, and an educator. Jenkins has worked to bring transgender issues to the forefront of city policymaking in Minneapolis, Minnesota for over 30 years. Under her leadership, Minneapolis has launched many remarkable political initiatives such as the transgender issues work group, which led to the establishment of the first annual Transgender Equity Summit in 2014. She uses her poetry to connect with and inform people and has performed her work for audiences nationwide. Currently, she is working with the University of Minnesota where she is archiving her interviews with trans people from Minneapolis, Chicago, and rural areas of the Midwest as part of the Transgender Oral History Project. CeCe McDonald is a young and passionate transgender activist. In 2011, McDonald was studying fashion design at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. While walking to a grocery store, she and her friends were attacked by a group of white people shouting racial and transphobic slurs. After fatally stabbing one of her attackers, she was unjustly imprisoned for 19 months. Throughout her time in prison, McDonald openly discussed issues around mass incarceration and its intersections with transphobic, homophobia, and class. Now, McDonald brings a creative and energetic personality to stages all over the country. She uses storytelling to articulate the personal and political implications of her time in prison and ways to heal. She fosters conversations and discussions around the intersections of trans identity including, but not limited to, prison, abolition, homelessness, and love. McDonald has given talks from college campuses to Wall Street and is highly sought after for her raw and honest dialogue.

Item Information:

Oral Histories with People of Color
Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection, University of Minnesota
Cox, Laverne
Gares, Jac
Jenkins, Andrea
McDonald, Chishaun Reed Mai'luv (CeCe)
University of Minnesota Minneapolis Libraries
Date Created
Aug. 29, 2016
Oral Histories
Anti Violence Project
Audre Lorde
bell hooks
Free CeCe
In The Life
Musical Chairs
Orange is the New Black
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Sayuri Hernandez
The Exhibitionist
Minnesota > Hennepin County > City of Minneapolis > Minneapolis
Black people
Film industry
Gender dysphoria
Transgender people
Resource Type
Moving image
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