July 8, 2013
Jobs & Internships - SRLP (Sylvia Rivera Law Project)

come work with me supporting liberation & gender self determination!

June 17, 2013
Y’all Better Stop With Your Violent Queer Parties

I want queer dance parties who take queer dollars to cut this shit out. now. even better retroactively with bountiful reparations given to all of us who’ve experienced this kind of violence.

I want them to be accountable to the people they are supposedly welcoming, to change their practices and principles and understand the kind of power over people who are navigating multiple forms of oppression and violence every day.  I want them to come up with principles around holding relationships that they don’t understand because of their privilege and holding lives and experiences that they have benefited from but do not actually know.  My most recent experience was this weekend. On Friday night my partner and I went to “SECRET POP UP” Brooklyn Queer dance party at Cubana Social and unsurprisingly experienced multiple levels of oppression and violence throughout our time there. 
 

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June 7, 2013
Good Organizing, Useful Apologies

one of the reasons that i quit facebook was because i was tired of making it so easy for the government to compile data on me.

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but i also left because so often online activism gets funneled thru mediums like twitter, tumblr, and facebook, companies deeply invested in making money off us using them and as a result really not a great form to produce norms of holding each other accountable with an end of transformation. (to read more about forms & norms check out Ruthie Gilmore’s essay in The Revolution Will Not Be Funded).

having witnessed & experienced years and years of subtle & overt trans women directed transphobia/exiling/shaming within online & IRL spaces i’ve come to have low expectations for how i’ll be treated outside of my home. low expectations for activist spaces like Occupy Wall Street or Critical Resistance, feminist spaces like the Lesbian Herstory Archives, art spaces like all of them and definitely queer dance parties.

low expectations are a strategy i’ve used to protect me from the near constant feeling of being forgotten about or not mattering. its a strategy that doesn’t really work because i still feel those things because harm happens in relationship and in community when particular bodies and experiences and lives are devalued and made to feel disposable.

so i was impressed this morning when i read Hey Queens public apology to the trans women in their community for how they handled the organizing around jd samson’s booking and the michfest boycott. i say organizing because so far a lot of this has been written of as just complaining/ranting/derailing, which is a tactic so often used to undermine organizing done by people experience oppression.

i don’t remember the last time anyone apologized to trans women in their community. and thats not because hey queen is the first space to devalue trans women.

harm happens to people in community and in relationship but i’m pleased to witness accountability in process in a way i haven’t before. i wonder what accountability and reparations would look like for all the other spaces that have historically exiled, shamed and devalued the lives of trans women, especially low income trans women, trans women of color, who have HIV/AIDS, who are disabled, have lived in prison, jails, homeless shelters, detention centers or psych hospitals and are navigating incredible isolation.

HRC/NGLTF/Michfest and so many others i hope your taking notes!

—-

Hey Queen’s Apology:

We want to apologize to the trans women in our community as well as anyone else hurt or harmed by our actions. We are deeply sorry.

Booking JD Samson, a performer in violation the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival boycott, was a failure on our part. We now understand the harm and disrespect this decision caused our community. For this reason, we will not book performers who continue to play Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (MWMF), in an effort to support the boycott until MWMF’s transmisogynist policy is no longer.

In addition, we’d like to address our initial statements, which were dismissive and insensitive. We acknowledge that we were in the wrong. We are deeply sorry we did not take that opportunity to make a stronger stand in solidarity with trans women by standing against the blatant transmisogynist policy of the MWMF. We want to state publicly that we denounce this policy and are wholeheartedly in support of all self-identified women being openly encouraged to attend MWMF.

We’ve heard the feedback you’ve given us and are committed to learning from our mistakes. We want to change, we want to be transparent and accountable, we want to respectfully listen, and we greatly appreciate the letters you’ve sent us. 

We turn to trans women for their leadership around this important issue. We also understand and respect that it is not the responsibility of trans women to educate us. We urge you, our community and family, to continue to give feedback on how to make our parties safer, more affirming, and more inclusive spaces for trans women and all LGBTQ+ people. Commenting is great, or you can email us privately at queens@heyqueen.org if that feels more comfortable for you.

Sincerely,
Sarah Jenny and Avory Agony
Co-Producers, Hey Queen!

May 31, 2013
The Spirit Was...: Help Support Egyptt! Please Signal Boost

 

thespiritwas:

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(click here to donate)

Dear Friends & Community,

We are writing to let you know of a community member who needs support after going through a major health crisis. Many of you know Egyptt, a long time activist and advocate for low income, trans communities of color.


Egyptt was…

reblogging this in light of Janet Mock’s brilliant insights on crowdfunding for trans women of color and in hopes that more and more people share this alongside  KOKUMO’s and Ja’briel Walthour’s fundraisers.  Please support all three by all the means you can!

May 8, 2013
Help Support Egyptt! Please Signal Boost

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(click here to donate)

Dear Friends & Community, 

We are writing to let you know of a community member who needs support after going through a major health crisis. Many of you know Egyptt, a long time activist and advocate for low income, trans communities of color. 


Egyptt was formerly co-coordinator of Trans Justice at the Audre Lorde Project. Prior to her work at ALP she was a crucial member of the Queers for Economic Justice Welfare Warriors group where she lead the way fighting transphobia within New York City’s welfare agency: the Human Resources Administration. Because of Egyptt’s work NYC’s Human Resources Administration has adopted its first ever transgender non discrimination policy, which Egyptt helped implement through many trainings of New York City employees.

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Additionally Egyptt has been a long time advocate at Housing Works advocating to have New York State pass the Gender Employment Non Discrimination Act (GENDA). She is also a brilliant performer, frequently showcasing her talent at the Housing Works fashion shows and many Trans Day of Remembrance events. Egyptt is now unemployed and has lost her apartment in Harlem. 

We are turning to you, our community, to support Egyptt as she navigates this challenging moment. We want to raise 10,000 for Egyptt to get back some of what she has lost in the last few months. She needs resources to get back into housing, to replace lost possessions, and to cover outstanding healthcare costs. 


With deep appreciation, 
Reina Gossett, Pooja Gehi, & Dean Spade

February 22, 2013
NYU OCCUPATION: STREET TRANSVESTITES FOR GAY POWER STATEMENT

i found this document -the first statement released by STAR during the NYU gay liberation front occupation- at the new york public library in Arthur Bell’s papers.

for more context i wrote about it last year here for Sylvia Rivera’s ten year memorial blog

OCTOBER 1970

GAY POWER WHEN DO WE WANT IT? OR DO WE?

 

This is the question that is running through our minds.  Do you really want Gay Power or are you looking for a few laughs or maybe a little excitement.  We are not quite sure what you people really want.  IF you want Gay Liberation then you’re going to have to fight for it.  We don’t mean tomorrow or the next day, we are talking about today.  We can never possibly win by saying “wait for a better day” or “we’re not ready yet” If you’re ready to tell people that you want to be free, then your ready to fight.  And if your not ready then shut up and crawl back into your closets.  But let us ask you this, Can you realliy live in a closet? We cant.

 

So now the question is, do we want Gay Power or Pig Power.  We are willing to admit that we need pigs.  But we only need t hen for crime control. We do not need them to beat and harass our gay brothers and sisters.  The pigs are not helping the people who are being robbed on the streets and being murdered.  How can they when theyre to busy trying to bust a homosexual over the head.  Or theyre to busy trying to catch someone hustling so they can arrest t hem.  But they do give us an alternative.  All we have to do is commit sodomy with them and they’ll forget they were saw us.  Until next time that is.  So again we ask you, do you want pig power or gay power?  This is up to each and every one of you.

 

If you want gay power then youre going to have to fight for it.  And youre going to have to fight until you win.  Because (striked through) once you start youre not going to be able to stop because if you do youll lose everything.  You wont just lose this fight, but all the other fights all over the country.  All our brothers and sisters all over the world will return to their closets in shame.  So if you want to fight for your rights, then fight till the end.

 

We would also like to say that all we fought for at Weinstein Hall was lost when we left upon request of the pigs.  Chalk one up for the pigs, for they truly are carrying there victory flag.  And realize the next demonstration is going to be harder, because they now know that we scare easily.

 

You people run if you want to, but we’re tired of running.  We intend to fight for our rights until we get them.

 

                                    Street Transvestites

                                    For Gay Power

 

[images of trans symbols on bottom)

 

January 28, 2013
Captive Genders: Teach-In on Abolitionist Imaginings and Transgender Activism

Next week my brilliant sibling Che & I will be hosting a teach in at UPenn on our Captive Genders chapter “Abolitionist Imaginings” We’ll be highlighting the work of STAR, Kiyoshi Kuromyia & the ongoing legacy of trans activism.

Click here for more info! Hope to see you there!

January 24, 2013
Riding the elevator to creating change/creating chains success!

Riding the elevator to creating change/creating chains success!

January 18, 2013

“One of the things LFL (Lesbian Feminist Liberation) objected to during this time were the transvestites.  The way we saw it was, here is a man dressing up as a woman and wearing all the things that we are trying to break free of. We  found out there were plans to have a transvestite as part of the entertainment for the 1973 Gay Pride rally in Washington Square following the march and we decided to make a statement critical of transvestites…we decided to attack men who did it for profit -professional female impersonators and prostitutes.

we decided we were going to stand up on that stage and tell everybody what we thought.

We stayed up the whole night before the rally and typed up this little statement.  We thought it was very important.  You see, we were creating theory at the time.” 

Jean O’Leary, founder of Lesbian Feminist Liberation, later the first co-director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF)

“The transgender community was silenced because of a radical lesbian named Jean O’Leary, who felt that the transgender community was offensive to women because we liked to wear makeup and we liked to wear miniskirts.  

Excuse me!

It goes with the business that we’re in at the time! Because people fail to realize that -not trying to get off the story -everybody thinks that we want to be out on them street corners.  No we do not.  We don’t want to be out there sucking dick and getting fucked in the ass.  But that’s the only alternative that we have to survive because the laws do not give us the right to go and get a job the way we feel comfortable.  I do not want to go to work looking like a man when I know I am not a man” Sylvia Rivera

A case could be made that we should have included transvestites rights but I don’t think that gay people wanted to be identified with that.  We were trying to get away from that image.  And we were trying to get the bill passed.  So the transvestites were excluded from the bill and they never got reinstated.” Jean O’Leary

“I thought free loving was the thing, I found it doesn’t pay the rent…During the daytime they all call us fags and freaks.  At night I get even.  I freak on them.  I make them pay for all the insults they gave me.  I can have a nice conversation with them, give them words of wisdom.  But I’m getting back at them. My way.” Marsha P Johnson

January 8, 2013

My afternoon pick me up!  Warhol star Holly Woodlawn talking about her relationship with Jackie Curtis and Candy Darling, from the 2004 film”Superstar in a Housedress.”