Sunday, December 07, 2008

Once Again We Are The Invisible "T" Part 2

This morning I am still thinking about the "Margins to the Mainstream: GLBTQ Culture and History." exhibit and I sent this email to the curator of the exhibit...


I visited the exhibit Saturday with a couple of friends and I was terrible disappointed with the exhibit. I expected to see more on displays about transgender history than the few exhibits that were displayed. In the list of notable historic events, only the Compton Riot was mentioned and we were just reduced to a fragment of a sentence during the Stonewall Riots. You had Leslie Feinberg’s “Stone Butch Blues” but did you read ze’s interview with Sylvia Rivera about the Stonewall Riots in “Worker’s World”
( That could have added a different perspective to Stonewall.

You mentioned Mathew Shepard, but did you know that only a couple of weeks after his murder Rita Hester
( was brutally murder in Boston, she was a trans-woman from East Hartford and had moved to Boston area. It is in her honor the Transgender Day of Remembrance is held (

More trans-history can be found here
here ( and here

There are so many books on transgenderism that you could have highlighted such as Jan Morris’ “Conundrum”, Renee Richards’ “Second Serve” and Christine Jorgensen’s “A Personal Autobiography” to name just a few. Plus there are so many modern books that you could have shown like Jameson Green’s “The Visible Man”, Jennifer F. Boylan’s “She’s Not There: a life in two genders” and Helen Boyd’s “My Husband Betty”

Another point of contention was the statement on the wall by the entrance, about the passage of Connecticut’s “comprehensive” Anti-discrimination law. From the transgender point of view, it was not comprehensive since we were left out and we are still fighting to be included.

The reasons that I am so passionate on this is because I am trans and because when Congressman Barney Franks pulled the gender inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act from the floor of the House in 2007 and replaced it with non-inclusive ENDA, the reason he gave was that trans-community didn’t earn it. He said the gay community had fought for ENDA for thirty years and the trans-community just recently lobby for the bill; Rep. Franks just totally discounted forty years of trans-activism.

I am disappointed, there was so much you could have done to include the "T", but you did so little. We are still marginized. If you are going to advertise the “T,” then have the “T”.



  1. What a great and important letter.

  2. Thumbs up on the letter!

  3. Thank you Diana for this important work. Back in 1999 when the Ct. Stonewall Foundation held an exhibition, Challenging and Changing America, the struggle for LGBT Civil Rights, i as the weaver of the exhibiton had no problem including the T, finding material and made damn sure no one was left out. Thanks for pointing out and I hope the curator has changed the signage, that in the 1991 Gay and Lesbian civil rights bill that the trans and Bi community was left out.
    We must fight and fight hard when anyone no matter who tries to suppress, deny, omit or erase any of our people, call them on it and demand that they change their ways. No excuses!