I feel it is extremely important to know about the people in our community who came before us. Throughout history trans people have made history by acting as activists, advocates, and just by being themselves in a world at that against them. This list is by no means complete but the point is to highlight some of the trans people who have made history for our community.
1) Frances Thompson: Frances was most likely the
first trans person to testify before a congressional committee in the US. In
1866 she was a victim of the Memphis Riot. The riot occurred when a group of
white men went into a neighbourhood where former slaves, such as Frances,
lived. They burned buildings and attacked the former slaves. It was on this
matter that she testified before the committee. Ten years later she was
arrested for “transvestism.”
2) Lucy Hicks Anderson: Lucy was born in 1886 and began living as a woman a young age. She was first married in 1929 and then attempted to get married again in 1944.However, in 1944 her marriage was denied and she was accused of perjury for saying that she was a woman. After then she became one of the first fighters for marriage equality in America.
3) Marsha “Pay it No Mind” Johnson: Marsha is most
known for being one of the leaders at the Stonewall Riot in 1969 however her
involvement in the LGBT community stretches beyond that. She was the co-founder
of S.T.A.R. which provided support and resources for homeless trans youth. She
was also heavily involved in the Gay Liberation Front. She fought for LGBT
rights and for people living with HIV and AIDS. She supported the community until her life was cut short in 1992 under suspicious circumstances.
4) Sylvia Rivera: Sylvia was also one of the
leaders at the Stonewall Riots. At only seventeen years old she co-founded S.T.A.R.
She was also a founder of the Gay Liberation Front. She spent a lot of time
advocating for trans people, drag queens, and other people who were not included
in the mainstream gay rights movement including fighting against the exclusion
of transgender people from the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act in New
York. She was an advocate for the community until her death in 2002.
5) Miss Major Griffin-Gracy: Miss Major was another
leader at the Stonewall Riots in 1969 and the community in New York at the
time. In the late 1970s she moved to San Diego and started grassroots movements
such as working with a food bank to serve trans women who were incarcerated,
struggling with addiction, or were homeless. During the AIDS epidemic she
provided people with healthcare and organized funerals often one or more a week. In 1990 she moved to
the San Francisco area where she worked with many HIV/AIDs organizations. In
2003 she began working at the Transgender GenderVariant Intersex Justice
Project where she works to help transgender women who have been imprisoned. She
continues to work as an activist to this day.
6) Hiromasa Ando: Hiromasa was a professional
speedboat racer in Japan and publically transitioned when he was given
permission to start competing as a male in 2002 becoming the first openly trans
person in the sport. He also is one of the first openly trans athletes in the world.
7) Aya Kamikawa: In 2003 Aya made history when she
became the first openly transgender person to be elected into office in Japan. She has also worked for the LGBT community both as a politician and before as a committee member for Trans-Net Japan.
8) Trudie Jackson: Trudie Jackson is a long-time
activist for the LGBT and Native American Communities. She has worked with the ASU Rainbow Coalition, the
Native American Student Organization, The National LGBTQ Task Force, and the Southwest
American Indian Rainbow Gathering. She has been the recipient of numerous
awards including the Equality Arizona Skip Schrader Spirit of Activism Award, one
of the 2013 Trans 100, and Echo Magazine’s 2013 Woman of the Year. She is a
huge advocate for the Native American trans community.
9) Kim Coco Iwamoto: When elected to the Hawaiian
Board of Education in 2006 she held the highest office of any openly trans
person in America. She served two terms on the Board of Education and is now a
commissioner on the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission.
10) Diego Sanchez: Sanchez was the first openly
trans person to hold a senior congressional staff position on Capitol Hill in
America when he was appointed by Barney Frank in 2008.
11) Kylar Broadas: Broadas is an attorney,
professor, and the first openly trans person to testify in front of the U.S.
Supreme Court when he spoke in support for the Employment Non-Discrimination
Act in 2012. In 2010 he founded the Trans People of Color Coalition.
12) Isis King: She became the first openly trans
person to be on America’s Next Top Model in 2008. Her openess and involvement in the show and involvement in the show attracted a lot of both negative and positive attention. She has continued to work as a model, role-model, and advocate for transgender people.
13) Blake Brockington: Blake first made headlines
when he became the first openly transgender high school homecoming king in
North Carolina. He was also an activist for the LGBT community, transgender youth and fought against police brutality. Sadly, Brockington lost his life at the
age of 18 in 2015 after committing suicide.
14) Diane Marie Rodriguez Zambrano: She has been a
human rights and LGBT rights activist in Ecuador for many years. In 2009 she
sued the Civil Registry to change her name and set precedent for other trans
people to be able to change their names. In 2013 she became the first openly
trans person, or LGBT person, in Ecuador to run for office.
15) Ruby Corado: She is an activist born in El
Salvador but living in America. She was involved in the Coalition to Clarify
the D.C. Human Rights Act which was changed the act to include gender identity
and expression. In 2012 she opened Casa Ruby which is the only bilingual and
multicultural LGBT organization in Washington, D.C. She has been working for
human rights for over 20 years.
“Dev and Niall, bless them, act like I’ve arrived eight minutes late to breakfast, instead of eight weeks. Dev nudges Niall, and Niall gives me a bored once-over, then moves the teapot away from my spot, which they’ve left empty. Good men.”
“Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honour to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.”
“My name’s Happy. My friends gave me the name. My birth name is Christian, but I don’t go by it at all. I just hitched a ride from Idaho with some people coming back from Rainbow Gathering. Before Idaho, my friend Dumpster Baby and I hopped a freight train from Utah. We spent four hours in a dumpster with a tarp over us while it just rained and rained on us before we left. Now I’m waiting for my friend Rat Boy to come meet up with me. He’s never been to Portland before so he’s off wandering. We might see if we can find a punk show to go to tonight, and then we have a squat house we’re going to crash at.”
“How is hopping freight trains different than hitchhiking?”
“Well for better or worse, you’re usually you’re alone for 24 hours on a train. Sometimes the cops bust you. I’ve been busted before. I met some kids that wanted to hop a train and had never done it so I took ‘em. Usually you’re supposed to throw your pack first and then kind of start running before you jump, otherwise you’ll just fall. I watched ‘em do it and they both just rolled. But they were ok. A few cuts and the worst thing was one guy got a bruised knee.”
“How did you start off this life of wandering?”
“I grew up in LA, in not the best of neighborhoods. I was used to always hanging on the streets. Then when I was 15 or 16 some friends of mine told me about a squat house in another city and we hopped a train and went there. I love the community of it, kids all helping each other out. There’s even a web forum where people will tell each other where to stay, who to look out for, or a place where you can get fed and things like that.”
“It sounds like such an adventure! I wish I could come take photos of it all.”
“I had a bunch of photos on my phone, but I dropped it on the tracks once, and that was the end of that. It’s not all great though. A lot of kids I know are on meth and I have a friend who got Hep C from sharing needles. Not me, I’m a straight edge. That’s what these tattoos are about.” He held out his hands.
“What about the one on your face?”
“My family is indigenous and my great grandfather completely tried to deny and hide his heritage. And then his son, my grandfather, tried to embrace it. I’d seen a photo of him with these markings, so I had a friend tattoo it on me.”
“What does it represent?”
“I’m not sure. My family doesn’t even know what tribe. But I wanted to embrace my heritage.”
I want to know how many of us dirty kids use tumblr. Reblog if you have done or currently do any of the following:
-Dumpster diving for food
-hitchhiked across state lines
-been to AMF
-helped trail blaze or been clean up crew for a National Rainbow Gathering
-feel like you’re gonna snap if you hear wagon wheel one more time
-been"adopted" for a night
-prefer RYO (if you smoke)