Transgender Law Center Announces 2014 Honorees

CeCe McDonald, Willy Wilkinson, and ACLU of Northern California to be Awarded

Transgender Law Center will honor CeCe McDonald, Willy Wilkinson, and the ACLU of Northern California at SPARK!, the organization’s 12th anniversary celebration, to be held October 2, at Sir Francis Drake, a Kimpton Hotel in San Francisco, California.

“SPARK! is about so much more than celebrating our organization’s accomplishments for transgender justice,” said Kris Haysahi, Deputy Director. “It’s about recognizing and lifting up the incredible achievements of community leaders who represent the gorgeous diversity of our movement.”

CeCe McDonald, a young transgender woman who was incarcerated after defending herself from a violently racist, transphobic attack, will receive the Authentic Life Award. She was recently featured in Rolling Stone magazine, has shined in multiple national television interviews, and has been traveling around the country offering hope and inspiration to transgender youth, especially transgender women of color.

“I am really honored to have even been nominated for this award and to be recognized by my community for what I’m doing – because I’m not doing this just for me, but for all of us. I can’t wait to be there and enjoy the festivities…To be with my community and those working hard, being fierce, and doing what they can to make the world a better place,” said McDonald.

Willy Wilkinson, to receive the Vanguard Award, has been a leader and advocate for decades. He led when nobody else could or did – from garnering attention and funds for trans* communities impacted by the AIDS epidemic to founding the first support group for FTM people of color to changing hearts and minds through his work and trainings. His forthcoming book Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency is a compelling memoir that explores the ambiguity and complexity of Willy’s personal intersectional experience with race, gender, sexuality, disability, class, and parenthood.

“I feel so honored to be receiving recognition from Transgender Law Center, especially at a time when TLC has achieved so many incredible victories for our community,” said Wilkinson.

The ACLU of Northern California will receive the Community Partner Award for their long history of advocating for fairness and freedom, and more recently, for their leadership and support in co-sponsoring AB1266, the School Success and Opportunity Act. They have been an unyielding, fierce, and fully committed stakeholder while defending the law against a potential referendum effort.

“We are honored to be recognized by Transgender Law Center, one of the few national organizations wholly dedicated to the fight to protect and promote the civil rights and civil liberties of transgender people. We look forward to working together to achieve full equality for transgender people in California and across the country,” said Abdi Soltani, Executive Director, ACLU of Northern CA .

Individual tickets to SPARK! are $95. VIP tickets and sponsorship opportunities are also available. To learn more about sponsoring or purchasing tickets to SPARK! visit