Stonewalling Accurate & Inclusive Depictions (S.A.I.D.)
What: First Public Hearing on Proposed Plaque Honoring the Stonewall Riots of 1969
This hearing will occur during a meeting of Community Board 2’s Landmarks & Public Aesthetics Committee to enroll the public to discuss the proposed draft of what will be written on the plaque to be placed on the Stone Wall Inn honoring the Riots of 1969.When: Tuesday, October 15th @ 6:30pm
Where: NYU’s Silver Building at 32 Waverly Place (at Washington Square East), room 411Why: It’s vital that transsexual, transgender and gender-non conforming people attend this hearing to ensure that the language on the plaque does not gloss over our communities by repeatedly and inaccurately pushing thee word “gay” as an umbrella term because this minimizes and erases the significant role transsexual, transgender and gender non-conforming people had in the rebellion. Sexual Orientation (gay) is not the same thing as a transgender gender identity or a transsexual medical condition. Words really do matter.
S.A.I.D. organizer Miss Major, currently the Executive Director of T.G.I Justice Project and a Stonewall veteran who was actually inside the Inn when the riots started, has deep concerns about the proposed plaque’s wording and the overall misrepresentation of Stonewall’s legacy. She states,“We started S.A.I.D.’s campaign to honor all those at the Stonewall Inn the night the riots erupted and, though you wouldn’t know it by viewing the inaccurate ‘Stonewall Uprising’ film or a string of other (mis)depictions, that most definitely and primarily included trans women and people of color.
The whitewashing of this history is an abuse of power which we will no longer tolerate.
The plaque should not use “gay” as an umbrella term as it marginalizes and erases the many trans people there. I’m not gay. Many transsexual and transgender people are also not gay.
History revisionism and trans-erasure have no place in this memorial. Let’s truly honor all the people who stood up for their human rights and yours by writing language on the plaque that’s honest.”S.A.I.D. organizer Ashley Love, a journalist and transsexual & intersex advocate who volunteers with the anti-defamation group Media Advocates Giving National Equality to Transsexual & Transgender People (MAGNET), finds the plaque’s inaccurate draft speaks to larger issues,
“It’s well documented that Sylvia Rivera, a Puerto Rican woman of trans experience, “threw the first heel” that started the riot, with Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major and many other trans* people and people of color also kicking things off. Then after the affluent white gay male political establishment was done using Rivera to fundraise she was quickly discarded. I’m sure the fact that she rightfully called out classism and transphobia also led to her being blacklisted.If this commemoration is to have any integrity then the pattern of certain privileged communities within the LGBTTIQQ coalition making Stonewall's legacy all about them must be challenged. It’s not just about “gay” people as the proposed text repeatedly misrepresents, it’s also about transsexual and transgender people. Let’s pay a genuine homage to the people who sacrificed so much for all of us by using more affirming text on the plaque.”
Stonewalling Accurate & Inclusive Depictions, or S.A.I.D., is an educational project drawing attention to the ongoing pattern of trans-erasure, whitewashing, misgendering and problematic messaging spread in numerous media portrayals, political establishments and educational institutions regarding the history and multi-movement building surrounding The Stonewall Riots of 1969. This campaign aims to encourage filmmakers, historians, educators, students, journalists and activists to responsibly affirm the colorful diversity which ignited the global revolution which the Stonewall Rebellion inspired.
“We S.A.I.D. enough is enough!”