It’s been almost fifty years since the historic night at the Stonewall Inn that many people cite as the beginning of the mainstream fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. Decades later, one trans activist who was present the night of the riots is still fighting for the rights and survival of transgender and gender-nonconforming people.
Miss Major is a community leader ― an organizer, activist, prison abolitionist, former sex worker, formerly incarcerated person, transgender elder and mother to countless transgender and GNC youth. She’s built a legacy recognized globally, particularly with her work with incarcerated transgender individuals. Her tireless efforts as an activist and respected elder in the community have not only saved countless lives but paved the way for modern day trans and GNC people operating in the public spotlight and fighting for queer people on a national level. Her legacy has even inspired an award-winning documentary called MAJOR!, currently making its rounds at film festivals.
In this interview with The Huffington Post, Miss Major reflects on her work over the decades, the history of the Stonewall Riots and how we can move away from a system of mass incarceration towards one of harm reduction.