“We have to look out for one another because we’re all we got. the rest of the world really doesn’t give a damn whether we live or die. and the thing is, when the dust settles, i want a whole bunch of transgender girls to stand up and say: IM STILL HERE” – the incomparable Miss Major Griffin-Gracy
Note from Aria on #Pride festivities:
:: i realize Pride can be a complicated experience for many trans people- and i just want to affirm that it is/was/has been a complicated experience for me as well. Pride can be very commercial, which i am pretty neutral on- but many are not. it can also be exclusionary to trans people and i am very aware in how that feels.
the last time we had black trans women featured in SF Pride festivities was when Janet mock and Miss Major were grand marshals during the same year. That was 5 years ago.
To celebrate black trans women, it was very important to me that we pay homage to Miss Marsha P Johnson and her incredible legacy and for her labor in liberating trans and queer people.
To celebrate trans women, i wanted to be sure that my sisters were a huge part of it. Vanessa Warriand Luna Ripariawere incredibly supportive and worked tirelessly with me in navigating press conferences and events, and reminding me to drink water and laugh in the stressful moments of being visible. I am forever indebted to y’all, and i am in such awe of you both every day and and your support means the world to me. i love you both so deeply.
i asked Raquel Willis to join me in the parade festivities, and i’m so glad she did. being visible is hard, and it can be daunting. thank you for continuing to represent us, and always in the best ways!
i wanted television viewers, news outlets, print media, audiences across the bay, and the city of San Francisco to see the beauty, power, and resilience of black trans women. we don’t ever get enough opportunities to see that, harness it and own it. 1.1 million people got to see#blacktransexcellence, sisterhood, comraderie, and celebrating our lives and our work- in the very moment.
thank you so much to San Francisco Pride and the board, the staff and the members who work tirelessly each year to produce a festival of love for living as our truest selves. thank you all for your acknowledgment for my contributions to my community and towards liberation. i don’t take it lightly, and i’m still very much soaking in the moment.
special thanks also to KPIX CBS San Francisco Bay Area
and T-Mobile San Francisco Signature and IM Creative and Prophet for helping me tell my story, and helping me build a project that will have a tremendous impact in changing the narratives of black trans women.
continue to celebrate the leadership and ideas of black trans women! Kween Culture Initiative
also support The Marsha P. Johnson Institute which is also launching to bring political and community organizing education for and by black trans women.
so much love. happy pride!!
Check out our original feature in The Advocate Magazine here: