6 Things You Never Knew About Miss Major Griffin-Gracy
Black history month is a perfect time to brush up on some Black history facts that you won’t find right out there in the open. Malcolm, Martin, and Rosa aren’t the only figures in Black history worth your attention. So thins month we’re bringing you facts on some Black women who deserve your attention!
Miss Major Griffin-Gracy is one badass activist you should know more about. At 75 years old she is still fighting the difficult battle for transgender and civil rights!
1. She’s from the south side of Chi-town.
Miss Major Griffin-Gracy was born a male in south side Chicago in 1940. As a teenager she participated in drag balls with her friends where the boys would dress in women’s clothing and the girls would wear tuxedos. It was around this time that she says she came out.
2. She played an important role in the LGBT community during the HIV/AIDs epidemic.
While she was living in California, Miss Major worked with local food banks and other programs to provide assistance to trans women in the Bay area who were incarcerated, suffering from addiction, or homeless. When the AIDS epidemic broke out, she was known for providing medical assistance and arranging proper funerals almost daily.
3. She’s a Stonewall riot veteran.
The 2015 movie “Stonewall” was met with a lot of criticism for it’s white washing of a defining historic moment in LGBT history. It left out a number of key trans women of color, including Miss Major! She was meeting a girlfriend at the bar the night of the infamous raid, and played a key part in initiating the riots against invading officers. She was knocked over the head and taken into police custody that night.
4. She’s also a survivor of Attica.
Miss Major served a short stint in Attica prison just after the infamous Attica riots of 1971. In the aftermath of the riots, she became highly politicized through her fellow inmates and after being released went on to further her work in civil rights.
5. There’s a new movie about her life.
A documentary film about her life is currently in the works. MAJOR!, will chronicle the efforts of Miss Major over the years and focus especially on her efforts to help trans women and women of color who have suffered at the hands of police brutality and the struggles of incarceration.
6. She’s still working hard at over 70 year old!
Currently Miss Major serves as the Executive Director of theTransgender GenderVariant Intersex Justice Project in California. She is still working diligently to provide resources to trans women who have been incarcerated and those who are struggling after they come home.