Last week the Transgenerational Theater Project performed at the Brick Theatre in Brooklyn. Below is the spoken word piece I performed.
We Have Always Resisted
Trans resistance is woven throughout the history of humankind.
We have always fought for the right to be who we are.
In ancient Rome, communal living replaced by a patriarchal system that viewed women and minorities as second class citizens. Those who didn't fit in their narrative were demeaned, exiled, arrested, tortured, and sometimes murdered.
Joan of Arc, who was only a teenager, displayed her military skill with some impressive victories over the powers that be. She was burned at the stake because she didn't wear clothing according to her birth gender. Could it be that Joan was killed because a gender non conforming person displayed intelligence, skills, and daring.
In Philadelphia in 1965, one hundred fifty LGBT people of color resisted discriminatory policies by the Dewey Lunch Counter at a sit-in. Management, having previously taken their money, said that they didn't dress or act straight. These courageous LGBT resisted and were victorious in Dewey's changing their policies.
A year later in San Francisco, Compton's' Cafeteria was the scene of a violent protests against police harassment. Trans people, street queens, and hustlers were tired of being pushed around. They resisted and battled police with purses, heels, anything they could get their hands on.
Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, two trans women of color, lit the spark that would become known as the Stonewall Rebellion. People of color, drag queens, and trans people resisted being harassed, beaten, demeaned, and disrespected. It was the burgeoning of the LGBT movement on that muggy June evening in 1969.
We resist being objectified! We resist being denied housing, food, employment, and medical services. We resist against those who call us perverts and deviants. We vehemently resist having our accomplishments erased by those who wish to see us disappear. We have always been here. We are not going away.
I resist against people who want to define me. I define myself! I am a woman! I am not here to tickle your fancy or be your puppet. I am a human being! I am a woman!
We have resisted all our lives. We will continue to resist!