Looking for a spark of brightness

It's a grey day, full of grey people leading their grey lives. The defeat of HERO in Houston was not unexpected. The recent rhetoric from the sidelines is of concern...especially when it comes to the membership at DK.

It's really quite easy:

Transgender men are men. Transgender women are women. A penis on a transgender woman is a woman's penis. A vagina on a transgender man is a man's vagina.

Averring or Insinuating otherwise is the very definition of transphobia.

Suggesting the abandonment of transgender people in order to increase rights for LGB people is not cool. We are of the body, Landru. All of us.

Please tell me you don't want to be grouped with those people who have recently spoken out against transgender people having equal rights: Phyllis Schlafly, Germaine Greer, Tony Perkins, Pat Robertson, et. al.

Oh, right! I promised to supply "a spark of brightness."

At the end of October the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian added its first portrait of a transgender American: Sylvia Rivera.

Actually, the photo, taken at the New Yrk City Pride March of 2000 by Luis Carle shows three trans women: Rivera, fellow activist Christina Hayworth, and Rivera's partner, Julia Murray. The gelatin silver print was added to the Struggle for Justice exhibit.

At the National Portrait Gallery, we look to include portraits of people who have made a significant impact on American culture. In the aftermath of the Stonewall riots, Sylvia Rivera expanded the gay liberation movement and fought for equal rights for people who embraced different gender identities.

--gallery director Kim Sajet



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The photograph captures a somewhat atypical scene for Pride Weekend. Rather than the bustling energy of the parade with crowds and celebration, this captures a moment of tranquil friendship and unity. The three women are shown joined together in the movement to ensure equal protection for the transgender community. As a Latina who spent much of her life homeless, Rivera was particularly sensitive to the struggles of trans people of color and those living in poverty.

--Ana Perry

It is extremely fitting that Sylvia Rivera be the first trans activist to appear in the National Portrait Gallery since Sylvia was one of the first out trans activist to stand up for — and raise her voice for — trans people in New York City and the U.S.

Sylvia emerged from the streets of New York where she was thrown away by her family, and fought back from poverty, homelessness, and drug addiction to be become a powerful voice for the rights, protection, human dignity, and respect for trans people that are the inalienable rights of all people.

--Eric Sawyer, ACT UP




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Denying transgender people...

Robyn's picture

...anti-discrimination protections because of what some other group of people might do would be equivalent to penalizing all men because some men are rapists.

I didn't think that was how we rolled in this society.

I guess I was wrong.

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