Is The Transgender Community Being Left Behind?

Transforming History | Retro Report | The New York Times
Transforming History | Retro Report | The New York Times

Transgender issues today are rooted in a decades-long struggle for acceptance. Produced by: Retro Report Visit Retro Report's website: http://www.RetroReport...


By Mila Madison

As we enter a new age where we have Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox, Chaz Bono and the adorable young Jazz Jennings there is a great misconception that all is well in the Transgender Universe. Though what these celebrities have been able to accomplish is amazing and absolutely a good thing for our community we still have much work to do.

As the gay and lesbian community has finally broken through the barriers on marriage and acceptance we still stand without simple protections and human rights in more than half of the United States. Just this past week New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had to use an executive order to add the term “gender identity” to the state’s anti-discrimination laws because for years now the state has not been able to get the proposed GENDA bill passed. This bill included many protections for the transgender community.


In an article by Peter Weber of “The Week” he talks about Sylvia Rivera and 1969 Stonewall riots. Sylvia was a pioneer for the transgender movement. During the riots she was quoted “I’m not missing a minute of this. It’s the revolution!”. Sylvia was unapologetic for who she was with an in your face approach. She fought hard for our cause and was a true pioneer. The transgender Rosa Parks as some say. I am sure she would lose her mind if she saw the new Stonewall movie where they whitewashed the history of the LGBT movement. In the film the first stone was cast by a white male when it was really thrown by a half african american transvestite. They also ignored the crucial role transgender people played at Stonewall. Look for a great piece on Slyvia later in the week in a profile on Transgender Universe.

So I rant today with the thought of how we come so far but yet we have so much to do. We made great strides thanks to Caitlyn, Laverne, Chaz and Jazz but we also need to look at those in the community like Jennifer Finney Boylan, who continue the work started by Sylvia Rivera. Check out a great piece from the New York Times in our video above that gives a quick summary of Sylvia and the events at Stonewall.

Though we have come so far we have so much to do. The revolution has only just begun! So where do we start? What do we need to accomplish next? How do we do it? I look forward to you thoughts in the comments section.

Stay safe and keep fighting for all of us.

–Mila Madison


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