Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Respect Your Trans Elders: Two Justice Warriors Who Paved the Way for Today’s Trans Movement

A stylized monochrome background showing Sir Lady Java on the left and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy on the right. In the foreground is a black box that says, "Black History Month 2018" and features NCTE's logo in white.

This Black History Month, NCTE is following the lead of the National Black Justice Coalition and the Ubuntu Biography Project in highlighting significant Black figures in trans history and in the present day. Learn more by visiting the #WeCanBcTheyDid hashtag.

It is easy forget how far we’ve come. There is definitely much needed progress until we reach full trans equality, but it’s important to honor those that helped create the movement to begin with. Honoring trans elders is empowering, helping to give us the courage and strength to continue fighting for our rights as trans people.

As we approach the 50-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, it’s crucial to recognize two justice warriors who were influential for trans visibility in the 1950s and 1960s. Their names are Sir Lady Java and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy. Activists even today, these two Black trans women used their own experiences of discrimination and exclusion to fuel activism for their communities.

Here’s a glimpse of how these two paved the way for us today.

Read more at NCTE's Medium page.


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