Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, who goes by “Miss Major,” has spent her long life at the intersection of struggles around race, gender and sexuality in the U.S. Born in 1940 in Chicago, Griffin-Gracy came out as transgender during the nascent LGBT rights movement in the late 1960s. She was at Stonewall when New York City police raided the bar in 1969, setting off what became known as the Gay Liberation Movement. And she was incarcerated at Attica in 1971 when riots broke out and inmates demanded better living conditions. Those two seminal events inspireddecades of activism. These days Miss Major is executive director of the Gender Variant Intersex Project, which works with imprisoned transgender women.
Griffin-Gracy’s life is now the subject of a new documentary film called, “Major!”–and filmmakers Annalise Ophelian and StormMiguel Florez are asking transgender women to participate. They’re using one of Griffin-Gracy’s favorite sayings – “I’m still fucking here!” – and putting out a call for video selfies in which trans women boldly repeat the line (Or, “I’m still here” if you don’t curse). Those video selfies will then appear in the film. The deadline to submit is April 15, 2015. You can also read more about the call and the project. Here’s a trailer of the film:
The impetus behind the project is clear. Trans women, particularly those of color, have been murdered in cases that have made headlines in recent years. There have already been six documented murders of transgender women in 2015 – and it’s not even March. Last year, the deaths of women like Aniya Parker in Los Angeles and Yaz’min Shancez in Florida led to a national discussion about an epidemic of violence against trans women.
You can also check out an example of what the filmmakers are looking for over on the film’s website.