February 2, 2014
No One is Disposable: Everyday Practices of Prison Abolition Reina Gossett and Dean Spade '97 FEB 7, 2014 | 4:00PM Online at bcrw.barnard.edu Co-Sponsors: Sylvia Rivera Law Project

On February 7th at 4PM EST please join me for an online discussion based on these a series of videos I made with Dean about prisons, Trans & gnc communities, the moral panic around psychiatric disabilities and where to go from here!

Register today and join us for this exciting experiment in creating online learning spaces that contribute to activist conversations.

August 22, 2013
Chelsea Manning and the realities for transgender and gender non-conforming people in prison, jails and detention centers. | SRLP (Sylvia Rivera Law Project)

from SRLP on Chelsea Manning, the realities trans & gnc people have to navigate daily while incarcerated and how we can support people on the inside!

July 30, 2013

Check out this statement about the CA hunger strike from the always amazing organization the Transgender Gender Varient Intersex Justice Project!




July 25, 2013                         ·          Oakland, CA

TGI JUSTICE stands in solidarity with the mass hunger strike action inside of the California imprisonment system that started earlier this month.  As an organization of trans, gender non-conforming, and intersex people– both inside and out of prisons and jails– we support the demands to end long-term solitary confinement, abolish de-briefing/ change gang validation criteria, end group punishment, provide educational, vocational and self-help programs, and to provide adequate nutritious food.  There are women locked up in many of California’s men’s prisons, and men locked up in many women’s prisons, along with gender non-conforming folks and intersex people, caught in the bind of binary administrative violence.  TGI people are in the dehumanizing facilities along side strikers, participating in the strike, experiencing the firm foot of increased CDCR repression along with everybody else inside.  Additionally, as TGI people we are all too familiar with the common practice here in CA, and across the country, to put TGI people into Ad Seg, SHU or solitary confinement units under the logic of “protection from the general population.”  In our hearts we know that true justice and actual safety come from accountable and strong communities.  For this reason, too, we know that working in coalition with non-TGI, straight, gay, or lesbian people to improve the conditions of and to end the existence of these torture units is in our own personal best interest as well as our broadest collective best interest.  Whether its being punished for being yourself or for asking to be treated humanely, isolation is a repressive tool of the prison industrial complex.  Already some of the strikers, and especially the leaders, have been moved to extra segregated isolation and are being blasted with frigid cold air.  Ultimately, we know that justice will require a fundamental shift in the distribution of power in society even if these demands are met.  We applaud the audacity of the strikers, wish the CDCR and Governor Brown to quickly meet the demands, and raise our fist in unity with all our folks, TGI and non-TGI, who are working for self-determination, freedom of expression, and racial, gender and economic justice.

TGI JUSTICE                   1201 46th Ave Oakland, CA 94601              510-533-3144

April 30, 2013
Holding Space for Cemia Dove’s death

Holding space for Cemia Dove who was found murdered in the waters of Cleveland…

and the many black trans women who are found murdered after having to navigate their survival being criminalized.

from Gay Star News

“In the past, [Cemia Dove] had clashed with police and the courts over her wish to be treated as a woman.

In January 2012, a judge found her guilty of possessing dangerous drugs after Acoff pleaded no contest.

These drugs included hormones used to boost oestrogen in women. She was fined $1000 (€768) and sentenced to 100 days in jail.

A year before, Acoff was fined $100 (€77) after being found guilty of failing to pay a fare and telling officers she was a woman.”

December 5, 2012
"The change in language in the DSM-V may set back decades of legal challenges brought by incarcerated transgender individuals, mostly transgender women of color without counsel, that created avenues for treatment and and gender self-determination for people in prisons, jails, detention centers and various other sites of civil commitment. Prisons and courts may argue that the case law and policies that do exist are premised on the diagnostic regime under the DSM-IV TR and that the change in language from a disorder to a condition no longer meets the requirements under the law for a “serious medical need.” What may appear to be an aesthetic change may become a substantive change under legal rules that are designed to make it impossible for incarcerated transgender individuals to survive. The better (although still terrible) policies of jails and prisons regarding the treatment of transgender individuals require a diagnosis of GID to initiate all forms of affirming care. We may see the loss of important tools of resistance, hard-won by our incarcerated trans community members."

Chase Strangio, 

Debating ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ and Justice for Trans People

October 29, 2012
Bloomberg Ignores Lives on Rikers Island, NYC Jail

Not that the Mayor or Department of Corrections has ever cared about the lives of people living in NYC jails & detention centers -or communities facing disproportionate policing for that matter- but Bloomberg has again refused to evacuate anyone on Rikers Island, which is incredibly vulnerable to Hurricane Sandy given that its a water-locked landfill!

To read more about the story, Salon posted this article about Bloomberg’s decision.

Mother Jones covered the story during Hurricane Irene here

TAKE ACTION! Call 212-NEW-YORK and urge them to evacuate detainees!

August 13, 2012
Sylvia Rivera Law Project Prison Penpal Postcards have arrived! Designed by Sylvia Rivera Law Project Prisoner Advisory Committee member Giovanni Germanotti. 
Please come out on Thursday, August 16th to learn about Sylvia Rivera Law Projects’s detention work & join in on the postcard project party! 
6:30-8:30pm at SRLP. Light refreshments & metrocards provided. All are welcome! 147 W 24th St., 5th Floor. Building has elevator.
(photo by Gabriel Foster)

Sylvia Rivera Law Project Prison Penpal Postcards have arrived! Designed by Sylvia Rivera Law Project Prisoner Advisory Committee member Giovanni Germanotti.

Please come out on Thursday, August 16th to learn about Sylvia Rivera Law Projects’s detention work & join in on the postcard project party!

6:30-8:30pm at SRLP. Light refreshments & metrocards provided. All are welcome! 147 W 24th St., 5th Floor. Building has elevator.

(photo by Gabriel Foster)

July 3, 2012
Postmodern Culture published “Entangled Spheres” Jian Chen's insightful & generous review of Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment & The Prison Industrial Complex!

June 18, 2012
No More Prisons, No More Closets

this is a beautiful article by Toshio Meronek, editor of Critical Resistance newspaper The Abolitionist, about the relationship between queer & trans people, the prison industrial complex and the histories of prison abolitionist organizing.


June 3, 2012
CRIMINAL QUEERS comes to the New Museum in NYC! “Jeannine Tang and Reina Gossett with Eric Stanley and Chris Vargas: Love Revolution, Not State Collusion”

hey NYC area friends!

i’m doing another event at the New Museum this coming Thursday and I would love for you to be there!  it will feature two amazing artists, Chris Vargas & Eric A Stanley, who will screen their prison break film, CRIMINAL QUEERS!

Jeannine Tang & I will moderate the conversation, it should be great. 

did i mention its free? it is *free!*

here’s the full description, i hope to see you there!

Thursday June 7, 2012, 7:30 pm

New Museum Theater



As transgender issues, artists, and theory have received greater recognition in contemporary art discourses and institutions since the 2000s, activist Reina Gossett, art historian Jeannine Tang will discuss the role of art and artists in recent movement building, and how contemporary art figures in critical trans politics today.

This will feature a screening of the film “Criminal Queers,” followed by a conversation with filmmakers Eric A. Stanley and Chris Vargas.

”Criminal Queers” visualizes a radical trans/queer struggle against the prison industrial complex and toward a world without walls.

Remembering that prison breaks are both a theoretical and material practice of freedom, this film imagines what spaces might be opened up if crowbars, wigs, and metal files become tools for transformation.

By expropriating the “prison break” genre the question of form and content collapse into a rhythm of affective histories as images of possibility materializes even after possibility itself is foreclosed.

Follow Yoshi, Joy, Susan and Lucy as they fiercely read everything from the Human Rights Campaign and hate crimes legislation to the non-profitization of social movements. Criminal Queers grows our collective liberation by working to abolish the multiple ways our hearts, genders, and desires are confined.

This event is supported by the New Museum, Sylvia Rivera Law Project, and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. 

A parallel conversation on recent organizing and movement building will be hosted by Sylvia Rivera Law Project on Friday, June 8 at 6pm.

Reina Gossett is a trans activist working at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project as Director of Membership and was formerly director of the Welfare Organizing Project at Queers for Economic Justice as well as a Soros Justice Fellow on staff at Critical Resistance.

Eric A. Stanley works at the intersections of radical trans/queer aesthetics, theories of state violence, and visual culture. While completing a PhD in the History of Consciousness department at UCSC, Eric along with Chris Vargas, directed the films Homotopia (2006) and Criminal Queers (2012) which have been screened at Palais de Tokyo, LACE, Centre for Contemporary Arts Glasgow and SF Cameraworks among numerous other venues. Eric is also the editor of Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex (AK Press, 2011) which was recenlty selected as a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. 

Jeannine Tang is an art historian teaching as Academic Advisor at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, while completing her doctoral work at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Chris E. Vargas is a film and video maker based in Oakland, CA, whose thematic interests include queer radicalism, transgender hirstory, and imperfect role models. He earned his MFA in Art Practice from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2011. Since 2008, he has been making, in collaboration with Greg Youmans, the web-based trans/cisgender sitcom Falling In Love…with Chris and Greg. Episodes of the series have screened at numerous film festivals and art venues, including MIX NYC, SF Camerawork, and the Tate Modern. With Eric Stanley, Vargas co-directed the movie Homotopia (2006) and its feature-length sequel Criminal Queers (2012). His solo video projects include Extraordinary Pregnancies (2010), Liberaceón (2011), and ONE for all… (2012).

During the run of the exhibition “Museum as Hub: Carlos Motta: We Who Feel Differently,” Motta invites local queer artists, activists, and academics to hold public events on select Thursday evenings in the Museum as Hub. Events include a conversation about transgender issues in contemporary art, a lecture on queer and feminist theologies, a workshop on HIV/AIDS activism today, a “cruising” walk, a presentation of a book about queer responses to gay inclusion in the military, and a collective reading of queer texts, all of which address critical issues of contemporary queer culture in the United States.