The Out of the Closet and Onto the Screen series at Ithaca College will host showings of the documentaries “Check It” on Tuesday, March 6, and “Free CeCe!” on Wednesday, March 7. Both films will be shown at 6 p.m. in Textor 101 and both are free and open to the public.
“Check It” tells the story of a black gay gang struggling to survive in one of the most violent neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. Once victims — as vulnerable gay and transgender youth, they’ve been shot, stabbed and attacked — they have now turned the tables as gang members who all have rap sheets riddled with assault, armed robbery and drug dealing charges. Members of the Check It gang are also creating their own clothing label, putting on fashion shows and working stints as runway models, but as the film documents, breaking the cycle of poverty and violence they’ve grown up in is a daunting task.
On her way to the store with a group of friends, CeCe McDonald was brutally attacked. While defending her life, a man was killed and CeCe was incarcerated in a men’s prison in Minnesota. The documentary “Free CeCe!” executive produced by actress Laverne Cox, explores the role race, class and gender played in CeCe’s case, putting a spotlight on the way she and other trans people are leading a growing movement fighting for the rights of transgender people everywhere.
Resources will be available at the Wednesday screening for those wishing to learn more about prison justice issues, and about how to write letters of support and encouragement to LGBTQ folks who are incarcerated. Leaders from IC student organizations focused on themes of incarceration and criminal justice will also be in attendance with information.
The Out of the Closet and Onto the Screen series is sponsored by the Ithaca College Center for LGBT Education, Outreach and Services. For more information, visit www.ithaca.edu/lgbt.