How the T Got Stuck to the LGB
No, homosexuals don’t owe our rights to black trans women sex workers
Historical revisionism is an ugly thing, and it’s happening in full force and in real time in today’s “queer” movement. It is not uncommon to come across claims that the gay community owes our rights to trans people. Hell, far too many believe the complete lie that black trans women sex workers started the Stonewall riots.
Of course, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Regarding the 1969 Stonewall riots, my friend and stand-up human being Fred Sargeant was actually there and was heavily involved in the early gay rights movement. In fact, he was a co-founder of the very first Gay Pride march, then called Christopher Street Liberation Day to commemorate the riots.
Sargeant has been working tirelessly to set the record straight. In a post for Graham Linehan’s Substack in 2022, he points out that the majority of the Stonewall Inn’s patrons were gay male youth. Naturally, this was also the demographic most responsible for the riots.
You wouldn’t know it from listening to trans activists, however, as they typically give the honor to a drag queen named Marsha P Johnson. Johnson is often even credited with “throwing the first brick.” The small problem is that, according to his own words in an interview with journalist Eric Marcus, he wasn’t even there when it started:
The way I winded up being at Stonewall that night, I was having a party uptown. And we were all out there and Miss Sylvia Rivera and them were over in the park having a cocktail.
I was uptown and I didn’t get downtown until about two o’clock, because when I got downtown the place was already on fire. And it was a raid already. The riots had already started. And they said the police went in there and set the place on fire.
Nor is there any evidence that Johnson was at the Stonewall over any of the following nights.
Johnson did go on to found an organization known as the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), which Sargeant described in a piece for Spiked as a “cell” of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) that formed after the riots. However, tensions between STAR and GLF began almost instantly:
The transvestite ‘revolutionaries’ of STAR were not trusted by most in the emerging gay-liberation movement. Their focus on ‘whoring and radical politics’, as Gay Activists Alliance founder Arthur Bell described it, was largely viewed with horror. There was a dangerous, potentially violent side to their activities that we were all aware of, and so many of us avoided them.
In the interview with Marcus, Johnson’s own roommate, early gay rights activist Randy Wicker, described the organization similarly:
It was a bunch of flaky, fucked up transvestites living in a hovel and a slum somewhere, calling themselves revolutionaries. That’s what it was in my opinion.
Neither STAR nor trans activists in general took a leading role in the gay rights movement after Stonewall, and they were still not at the forefront of the movement a decade later when the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights was held in Washington, D.C. on October 14, 1979.
Note that the “T” was missing from the title of the march, as well as from its list of demands:
Pass a comprehensive lesbian/gay rights bill in Congress
Issue a presidential executive order banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in the federal government, the military and federally contracted private employment
Repeal all anti-lesbian/gay laws
End discrimination in lesbian-mother and gay-father custody cases
Protect lesbian and gay youth from any laws which are used to discriminate, oppress and/or harass them in their homes, schools, jobs, and social environments
The “T” was still missing during the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1987. It was also still missing from the list of demands, which were now broader in scope and included issues like AIDS, reproductive freedom, and racism.
It wasn’t until the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation, which drew an estimated one million people, that “transgender” started becoming a part of the conversation. During the planning of the march, there was an effort to include “transgender” in the title.
In 1992, the San Francisco Bay Times ran an article titled “Merrily We Eat Our Own: March on Washington Comes to Grips With Transgender Issues,” which described the effort as follows (as transcribed in The Journal of Transsexual Feminism):
At a March on Washington Town Meeting at the Eureka Valley Recreation Center on Nov. 21, a contingent of transgendered people and their supporters confronted local organizers, charging exclusion from march planning, and promised to disrupt the march if their demands were not met ... At issue was not just the omission of the word ‘transgender’ from the title, but the feeling that the march might be trying to keep out ‘fringe’ elements of the community in order to seem more acceptable to straight society… Anne Ogborn, a transsexual who was speaking as a representative of Queer Nation SF, read a list of pre-arranged questions as to why transgenders were not in the title and literature and concluded, ‘When is it going to be fixed?’...
The tension level rose perceptibly when, finding the answers unacceptable, Ogborn and others began blowing whistles . . . ‘Without the inclusion of ‘transgender' in the title, it’s not my march’ she said.”
Ogborn, incidentally, also spearheaded Camp Trans to protest the women-only policy of the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival.
Though the steering committee rejected the inclusion of “transgender” in the title of the march, it did agree to include the word “wherever possible in the body of march literature.”
The article in The Journal of Transsexual Feminism continues:
Most significantly, the steering committee resolved that the MOW platform, which consisted of seven major planks, would include “transgender” in every plank that mentioned “lesbian, gay and bisexual.” In addition, a longer document spelling out details of these planks included several specific transgender demands, including the repeal of all laws prohibiting cross-dressing or other cross-gender expression, classification of sex-change surgery as medical, rather than cosmetic for the purposes of insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and the proposed universal health care plan; appropriate medical care for all transgendered people in prisons, hospitals or other institutions, and removal of gender dysphoria from the list of medical disorders.
Despite such near-universal capitulation by march organizers, the Transgender contingent at the march was minuscule, numbering only 40 people out of a million. But still, the damage was done.
Trans activists bullied the gay community into tacking the T onto its hard-earned coattails by throwing a tantrum and making threats. The pattern continues today.
I can find no more fitting words to close this trip into history than those of Fred Sergeant, who cuts right to the heart of the issue:
In my book, trans activists did nothing worthwhile then and turning over the movement to them now will do nothing worthwhile today, unless you call stripping women of their sex-based rights and promoting the lifelong medicalization of LGB youth "worthwhile," all while re-centering the needs of straight men.
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Originally there were supposed to be two Ts, one for the -genders and one for the -vestites. Then the "trans" thing came along, glomming the unrelated two together and then glomming the pair with the even more unrelated gay trio.
L and G are about people of the same sex being attracted to each other. "Trans" is about denying the reality of sex and calling it a "social construct." Building toward a world of eunuchs yapping about "gender identity" nonstop.
And what are these "rights" they are being denied? Gay people had real equality issues; we were forbidden marriage, we could be fired or evicted just for being gay.
What we didn't have was tens of millions of heterosexuals pretending to be gay to get attention.
Actually the Stonewall event was mostly Vietnam war protesters (it was 1969), and gay activists living less than a hundred miles from the tavern had not heard about the "pivotal event" ten years later. It is, largely, a myth. Drag queens and all. Anyone who's ever known any transvetities knows how absurd it is to imagine them doing anything other than their impersonations.