We S.A.I.D Enough Is Enough

We S.A.I.D Enough Is Enough

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Advocate Interviews SAID's Miss Major and Ashley Love on the Proposed Stonewall Plaque's Problematic Wording: 'Does the Stonewall Commemorative Plaque Erase Trans People's Role in Riots?'

From Advocate.com:

Does the Stonewall Commemorative Plaque Erase Trans People's Role in Riots?

Trans activists say the use of the term 'gay' as an umbrella term erases the historic importance of trans and gender-nonconforming people in the riots that launched the modern LGBT equality movement.
BY Sunnivie Brydum

October 24 2013 6:42 PM ET

Ashley Love (left) and Miss Major, two of the trans women leading the effort to make the Stonewall plaque's language more inclusive.
New York City is currently considering installing a plaque at the site of the historic Stonewall Inn, the Greenwich Village bar where in 1969, bar patrons — including trans women, lesbians, drag queens, and gay men — fought back against continued police harassment, leading to a riot that lasted three days and, by most estimations, started the modern LGBT rights movement.

Commemorating the riots and the location is undoubtedly a laudable goal, but the actual words that will be included on the plaque have stirred up controversy within New York's LGBT community...
...But even at the first meeting of the local Community Board's Landmarks and Public Aesthetics Committee on October 15, tensions over allegedly exclusive wording was plainly evident.... 
...Among those most upset over the draft language are members of Stonewalling Accurate and Inclusive Depictions, an educational project that aims to bring 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," according to SAID's website
"Many who took part in the Stonewall Rebellion died way before their time, like my sisters Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson," explains Miss Major, a SAID organizer, executive director of the TGI Justice Project in Oakland, Calif., and a trans woman of color who was inside the Stonewall Inn the night the riots began. "The ongoing whitewashing of those days of struggle put a blemish on the memory of those trans women of color and those still living — mentally, physically and spiritually. I pray this plaque uses inclusive language to honor the sacrifice we as trans women displayed by taking back our power."
Ashley Love, another organizer with SAID who is a journalist and transsexual and intersex advocate, cut straight to the chase on why her group is displeased with the plaque's draft language. 
"LGB decision-makers shouldn’t misrepresent less privileged communities by repeatedly using exclusive and nonaffirming language that marginalizes and misgenders Americans with a transgender gender identity or a transsexual medical condition," Love tells The Advocate. "Misusing 'gay' as an umbrella term erases the many heterosexual and non-gay identified people in the Trans* coalition, and confuses the already ignorant public. This is a chance to responsibly depict history by ensuring this plaque honors all diverse communities who kickstarted the Stonewall Rebellion."
Sen. Holyman's chief of staff confirmed that the specific wording will be discussed and revised at next month's meeting of Community Board 2's Social Services and Education Committee. That meeting will take place on November 19, which happens to be one day before the International Trans Day of Remembrance, where trans people and their friends and allies gather to remember all those lost to anti-trans violence and bias around the world in the past year...

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