A - GLF gutted protections for trans* people from a proposed 1971 New York LGBT rights anti-discrimination bill, saying it was "too extreme".
B - GLF kicked Sylvia Rivera and other trans people out of the group
C - "In the heyday of the Gay Liberation Front, in the early 70s, the majority of lesbians walked out in protest at the sexism of some of the gay men who took a pivotal role." - The Guardian
D - GLF member Jim Fouratt in 2000 referred to women born with transsexualism as "misguided gay men who'd undergone surgical mutilations" - (reported by Lynn Conway in 2006)
E - Recently these former GLF members have been quoted in Gay City News as hurling degrading adjectives at The Stonewall Inn such as “dirty, seedy” and “horrendous” (Um, sorry boys that many trans women of color in those days couldn’t afford to hang out in luxury piano bars such as most of the GLF gay sorority brothers could – but just because they were impoverished and found support and community in a small dive bar not to your liking doesn't mean these trans people were not extremely rich in spirit – a spirit so rich in fact that it launched a revolution! A revolution that many of these assimilationists profited from, and then discarded us when we no longer suited their self-serving, classist and transphobic agenda)
To many people the current bizarre behavior of these self-proclaimed “Stonewall veterans” (who are in my opinion just disgruntled former GLF members) who are now all of a sudden trying to defame the Stonewall Inn Riot’s legacy and block the plaque honoring our history and instead have GLF receive the recognition is a sinister (yet transparent to the third eye) attempt to disempower the transsexual and transgender communities and glorify the non-deserving Gay Liberation Front. It's about their egos. It's about whitewashing history. It's about trans-erasure. It's about not discussing why so many lesbians felt compelled to abandon GLF due to the sexism of its male leaders (and let's not forget the double standards and transphobia of many of those same lesbians who hypocritically called out GLF’s classism, yet who turned around and denigrated us even more so). It's about trying to do damage control concerning GLF's tarnished legacy. It's attempted history revisionism which speaks to an ongoing cycle of oppression that has lasted decades.
I wish Gay City News would publish more balanced articles on this Stonewall plaque issue. They only interview gay white men. What about women, whether they be transsexual or not? What about transgender people? What about cisgender lesbians? What about people of color?
What about diversity? Accuracy? Inclusion? Real feminism?
What is really going on here? We cannot allow this crafty campaign to cancel the proposed Stonewall plaque succeed. Get involved. Please join Stonewalling Accurate & Inclusive Depictions - S.A.I.D.. on our Facebook Page. We've lost too many of our sisters due the oppression which provoked those riots. Let's keep their memory alive and commemorate the Revolution of 1969.
Sexual Orientation (gay) is not the same thing as a transgender gender identity or a transsexual medical condition. Words really do matter.
S.A.I.D. organizer Miss Major, currently the Executive Director of T.G.I Justice Project and a Stonewall veteran who was actually inside the Inn when the riots started, has deep concerns about the proposed plaque’s wording and the overall misrepresentation of Stonewall’s legacy. She states,“We started S.A.I.D.’s campaign to honor all those at the Stonewall Inn the night the riots erupted and, though you wouldn’t know it by viewing the inaccurate ‘Stonewall Uprising’ film or a string of other (mis)depictions, that most definitely and primarily included trans women and people of color.
The whitewashing of this history is an abuse of power which we will no longer tolerate.
The plaque should not use “gay” as an umbrella term as it marginalizes and erases the many trans people there. I’m not gay. Many transsexual and transgender people are also not gay.
History revisionism and trans-erasure have no place in this memorial. Let’s truly honor all the people who stood up for their human rights and yours by writing language on the p laque that’s honest.”
S.A.I.D. organizer Ashley Love, a journalist and transsexual & intersex advocate who volunteers with the anti-defamation group Media Advocates Giving National Equality to Transsexual & Transgender People (MAGNET), finds the plaque’s inaccurate draft speaks to larger issues, writing;
“It’s well documented that Sylvia Rivera, a Puerto Rican woman of trans experience, “threw the first heel” that started the riot, with Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major and many other trans* people and people of color also kicking things off. Then after the affluent white gay male political establishment was done using Rivera to fundraise she was quickly discarded. I’m sure the fact that she rightfully called out classism and transphobia also led to her being blacklisted.If this commemoration is to have any integrity then the pattern of certain privileged communities within the LGBTTIQQ coalition making Stonewall's legacy all about them must be challenged. It’s not just about “gay” people as the proposed text repeatedly misrepresents, it’s also about transsexual and transgender people. Let’s pay a genuine homage to the people who sacrificed so much for all of us by using more affirming text on the plaque.”
Stonewalling Accurate & Inclusive Depictions, or S.A.I.D., is an educational project drawing 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. This campaign aims to encourage filmmakers, historians, educators, students, journalists and activists to responsibly affirm the colorful diversity which ignited the global revolution which the Stonewall Rebellion inspired.