I keep seeing these otherwise fantastic and magnificent Tumblr posts, about that horrible Stonewall movie, that basically boil down to:

they weren’t gay white men they were trans women of color

and as a trans person I’m excited and encouraged by the fact that so many people feel like it’s really important to say THEY WERE TRANS WOMEN OF COLOR.

but as a bisexual it kills me a little bit every time that nobody ever says they were *bisexual* trans women of color.

like, particularly since we’re specifically talking about the people who started the riots, people who were fundamental in the movement for the rest of their lives. We’re talking about Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson. Who were bisexual. [Citations: Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson]

[Yes: there are a lot more bisexual/trans/people of color involved, including Miss Major who is amazing and whose sexuality I don’t know. But this discussion tends to be centered particularly around these two and the “what is a white gay man doing throwing the first brick” fiasco.]

I haven’t reblogged each or any of these posts to say, one by one:

and bisexual

And bisexual


Because tbh, bisexual issues are so de-emphasized within the queer community that I think it would be interpreted as if I were tugging on the community’s sleeve and meekly piping up, “They were also Baby Boomers! Don’t forget!” 

But today I figured out how to explain this. 

When you say:

they weren’t *gay white men*

they were *trans women of color*

you’re correcting “[cis] men” with “trans women.”

You’re correcting “white” with “of color”.

And you’re erasing their sexualities as trans women of color.

You’re acting as though “trans woman” replaces “gay man”, as though trans is your sexual orientation. Or as though you can only be one kind of queer, and if you’re trans then that’s it, you can’t also count as bi, gay, or lesbian. 

You’re also telling other bi and pan people that our identities and our contributions don’t matter – that no matter what we do, we’ll be remembered as we always have been, as something other than who and what we were.

You’re feeding the people who say things like “bisexuals don’t belong at Pride” and “when bisexuals fight for our issues they can be part of our community,” as if we haven’t been here from the literal beginning of the modern-day movement (and before). And as if we don’t share many of the same issues.

So: thank you for re-centering trans women of color in queer history. And please start re-centering their bisexuality too. 

Please don’t forget that some of them were sex workers

Right? AFAIK, Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson were both sex workers. And they dedicated much of their lives to helping homeless queer youth who were mostly in the same profession, and Miss Major was as well and still works helping homeless trans women of color sex workers even at the age of 73.

One thing I barely see mentioned (maybe others have) is that Marsha P. Johnson is dead. When she died it was attributed to suicide but none of her friends believed that and a few years ago they reopened the case.
From the sounds of the things her friends and those close to her say, she was a victim of the violence that is enacted on trans women.

There is so much about these women that was so important and they deserved a Hollywood movie that would give praise to their lives and accomplishments instead of pushing them to the background of their own fight.