Meeting Miss Major

As part of the Pride Week programming at the University of Oregon, the LGBTQIA3 and other organizations brought Miss Major to campus to give the keynote address: https://calendar.uoregon.edu/event/uo_pride_week_keynote_speaker_miss_major#.WTh7HMm1uV4

According to the documentary Major!:

MAJOR! explores the life and campaigns of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a formerly incarcerated Black transgender elder and activist who has been fighting for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years.

Miss Major is a veteran of the Stonewall Rebellion and a survivor of Attica State Prison, a former sex worker, an elder, and a community leader and human rights activist. She is simply “Mama” to many in her community. Her personal story and activism for transgender civil rights intersects LGBT struggles for justice and equality from the 1960s to today. At the center of her activism is her fierce advocacy for her girls, trans women of color who have survived police brutality and incarceration in men’s jails and prisons.

Although I could not attend the talk, I did get a chance to attend the meet and greet with Miss Major.  She was friendly, direct, gregarious, charming, and full of life.  It was an honor to meet her, and I could tell that she connected with (and vice versa) with the students that attended, especially the queer students of color.

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