Tag Archives: Trans

Sylvia Rivera, transliberation, and class struggle.

Key readings:

“Amanda Milan and the rebirth of Street Trans Action Revolutionaries” by Benjamin Shepard in From ACT UP to WTO.

Leslie Feinberg Interviews Sylvia Rivera: “I’m glad I was in the Stonewall Riot.”

The Transfeminist Manifesto by Emi Koyama.

Street Trans Action Revolutionaries (STAR) was founded as a caucus within Gay Liberation Front (GLF) in 1971 to put forth trans demands in the gay liberation movement. The co-founder of STAR, Sylvia Rivera, was a Puerto Rican trans woman who led the Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969 along with other trans of color. Yet gradually, the gay liberation movement was co-opted by white middle-class  folks who are gender-conforming and became conservative. Gay Activists Alliance (GAA), a New York based gay rights group was founded by ex-members of GLF who did not appreciate its radicalism and wanted to form a single-issued organization that only focused on reformist gay rights. GAA’s conservatism and transphobia showed when they dropped the trans demands while advocating citywide anti-discrimination rights in the 70s. They saw actions put on by STAR and Sylvia Rivera as too “dangerous,” “crazy,” and “extreme.”

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