"Trans folks were not only attacked by mainstream gay rights groups but also in their own neighborhoods. In the West Village, a gentrified gay neighborhood, trans sex workers, who were mostly homeless and of color, were kicked out of the streets by white gay homeowners because they were “low-class, vulgar transvestites” not the usual entertaining drag queens. A real-estate-driven Quality of Life campaign led by the city continually pushed for the closure of clubs where trans folks hung out. Fighting for trans rights is thus a class issue. Rivera, who was homeless herself, saw the link and pushed STAR to organize a community space for homeless trans folks as well as fight for labor justice. They found a building for street gay kids, fed them and clothed them, while the government was cutting the healthcare, taking away food stamps, and putting more people with AIDS, youth, and women on the street. In Leslie Feinberg Interviews Sylvia Rivera, Rivera reiterates the importance of not only doing community work but also fighting against the government and the ruling class. STAR joined the mass demonstration with the Young Lords, a revolutionary Puerto Rican youth group, against police repression in 1970. STAR also built alliances with the Housing Works Transgender Working Group and the New York Direct Action Nextwork Labor Group to form picket lines at a club where a trans dancer was dismissed from work. Fighting for trans rights is a class issue–to resist the rich property owners who push trans folks out of their neighborhoods, to confront the managers that try to fire trans workers, and to fight back against the state that cuts back healthcare."
Sylvia Rivera, transliberation, and class struggle.
I am pretty sure there can’t ever be too many reminders of the extreme importance of Sylvia Rivera to everything.
(Source: janedoe225, via originalplumbing)