Friday, June 28, 2013

Stonewall Riots- June 28, 1969

I watched documentaries of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. I was really moved by their stories and of the people they influenced. People who knew them spoke of their love, activism, and their spirit. Marsha is given credit for firing the first salvo that June 28th morning at Stonewall by her gay friends. Like Philadelphia and San Francisco previously, TLGB people in New York City stood for themselves.  

At times I remind some people that trans people, street people, and drag queens were the ignitors of a fire that still burns today. They were on the front lines, having nothing to lose. Transgender people are now beginning to stand up for themselves, having been burned by some people and groups who claim to be helping them (are you listening, HRC?).

Sylvia died in 2002 still fighting for transgender equality on her deathbed. Marsha was found in the river by the pier on Christopher Street in 1992 (the police say it was suicide, I say she was murdered). After her funeral her ashes were poured into the river by the pier. Twenty years later, I would do the same thing for a friend I had recently lost.

My transgender people, as we pause to remember this historic day, take heart that we were right there on the battle lines. Marsha and Sylvia are two of my heroines.Always remember the people who paved the way for what we have today.

The documentaries of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera are on youtube.

Thank you Marsha and Sylvia.

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