transawareness

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CeCe McDonald was released from prison (should’ve never been there in the first place; see Support CeCe and Prison Culture for why). She’s hanging out with Laverne Cox! Listening to Beyoncé! They will be spending some time together since Laverne is creating a documentary on CeCe. (I may have bawled a bit.)

While the long awaited good news is here, I think of two important things that @PrisonCulture alluded to: One is that someone serving time for self-defense in a transmisogynistic, misogynoiristic and racist society and then being released is not “justice.” Justice would have occurred if she had a right to defend herself in the first place! Second thing is that the work is not done for trans people. She shared a link to the transformative justice project and other links were shared in the hashtag that I am about to mention.

A hashtag, #BecauseofCeCe was started by @JanetMock that included beautiful sentiments about CeCe and discussed the importance of justice for trans women. I saw cis and trans people alike in that tag with incredibly beautiful words. Janet also penned a letter to CeCe, part of which I could feel Maya Angelou’s Still I Rise in:

Activist and community members around the world have chanted, ‘FREE CECE.’ But I know you have been free this entire time. No one could take that from you. Your narrative alone, in your own words, with your own beauty and power and love and graciousness, showed me that I did not need to fight for your freedom. Your life was yours. Your body was held captive. But you were always free.

So, that’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read. She goes on in the letter to discuss critical intersectional issues that speak to CeCe’s experience—ones often ignored even within LGBTQIA spaces, because of White supremacy and patriarchy, no less. Critical post.

Cheering for CeCe and wishing her the absolute best in life. ❤

quistapp
queermuseum:

Queer African American Women and the History of Marriage 
This photo and headline accompanied an article from the October 15, 1970 issue of Jet magazine. They reveal that long before the recent struggle for marriage equality began,  African American women who love women have engaged with the institution of marriage and have fought to make it their own.
Edna Knowles, on the left, and Peaches Stevens were wed in Liz’s Mark III Lounge, a gay bar on the South Side of Chicago, “before a host of friends and well wishers.” The article ended by noting, “although the duo has a type of ‘marriage license’ in their possession, the state’s official marriage license bureau reported it had no record of their license.” This ending serves to remind Jet readers that Knowles and Stevens’ union was not legitimate in the eyes of the state, as does the use of quotes around the word “married” in the headline.
However, decades prior to this bold public display of queer affection, African American female couples in New York strategized alternative ways to obtain marriage licenses in the 1920s and 30s:
"Marriage ceremonies were held with large wedding parties which included several bridesmaids, attendants, and other wedding party members. Actual marriage licenses were obtained by either masculinizing the first name, or having a gay male surrogate obtain the license for the marrying couple. These marriage licenses were placed on file with the New York City Marriage Bureau." - Luvenia Pinson, “The Black Lesbian: Times Past-Time Present,” Womanews, May 1980  p. 8.
Also during the 1930s, popular performer Gladys Bentley was making a living singing bawdy tunes and playing piano late into the night at various clubs all over New York, including one named after her.

Bentley married her white girlfriend in Atlantic City in a ceremony to which she invited friends in the entertainment industry:
"Columnist Louis Sobol remembered Bentley coming over to his table one night and whispering, ‘I’m getting married tomorrow and you’re invited.’ When Sobol asked who the lucky man was to be, she giggled and replied, ‘Man? Why boy you’re crazy. I’m marryin’ ——’ and she named another woman singer." - Eric Garber, “Gladys Bentley: The Bulldagger Who Sang the Blues,” Out/Look, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 1988, pp. 52-61.
These examples show some of the various ways queer African American women have created public rituals to express their relationships and have therefore insisted on their rights to full citizenship, many decades prior to the current struggle for marriage equality. 


- Cookie
 

queermuseum:

Queer African American Women and the History of Marriage 

This photo and headline accompanied an article from the October 15, 1970 issue of Jet magazine. They reveal that long before the recent struggle for marriage equality began,  African American women who love women have engaged with the institution of marriage and have fought to make it their own.

Edna Knowles, on the left, and Peaches Stevens were wed in Liz’s Mark III Lounge, a gay bar on the South Side of Chicago, “before a host of friends and well wishers.” The article ended by noting, “although the duo has a type of ‘marriage license’ in their possession, the state’s official marriage license bureau reported it had no record of their license.” This ending serves to remind Jet readers that Knowles and Stevens’ union was not legitimate in the eyes of the state, as does the use of quotes around the word “married” in the headline.

However, decades prior to this bold public display of queer affection, African American female couples in New York strategized alternative ways to obtain marriage licenses in the 1920s and 30s:

"Marriage ceremonies were held with large wedding parties which included several bridesmaids, attendants, and other wedding party members. Actual marriage licenses were obtained by either masculinizing the first name, or having a gay male surrogate obtain the license for the marrying couple. These marriage licenses were placed on file with the New York City Marriage Bureau." - Luvenia Pinson, “The Black Lesbian: Times Past-Time Present,” Womanews, May 1980  p. 8.

Also during the 1930s, popular performer Gladys Bentley was making a living singing bawdy tunes and playing piano late into the night at various clubs all over New York, including one named after her.

Gladys Bentley

Bentley married her white girlfriend in Atlantic City in a ceremony to which she invited friends in the entertainment industry:

"Columnist Louis Sobol remembered Bentley coming over to his table one night and whispering, ‘I’m getting married tomorrow and you’re invited.’ When Sobol asked who the lucky man was to be, she giggled and replied, ‘Man? Why boy you’re crazy. I’m marryin’ ——’ and she named another woman singer." - Eric Garber, “Gladys Bentley: The Bulldagger Who Sang the Blues,” Out/Look, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 1988, pp. 52-61.

These examples show some of the various ways queer African American women have created public rituals to express their relationships and have therefore insisted on their rights to full citizenship, many decades prior to the current struggle for marriage equality. 

- Cookie

 

The Boston Police Department has issued new antidiscrimination guidelines for police interactions with transgender individuals that offer them additional protections during searches and bookings. The policies were announced Tuesday, several months after the city settled a lawsuit filed by a transgender woman against officers who arrested her for refusing to leave a woman’s bathroom at a Boston homeless shelter. Brenda Wernikoff contended that several male officers forced her to remove her shirt and expose her breasts. Throughout the incident, police referred to her as a man, she said. Under the new policies, reached after lengthy negotiations between police and the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, police must address transgender individuals by their adopted name, and must use appropriate pronouns.