On this episode of Aware: the truth islegendary New York based drag queen and civil rights activistJunior Mint (@juniormintt), sits with Chella Man (@chellaman) and Aaron Rose Philip (@aaron___philip) to discuss her role as a leader for trans and black women communities, as well as how these groups have been instrumental in creating change in the greater LGBTQIA+ rights movement.
Chella starts the conversation by asking Junior to “discuss how Black trans women and women literally led the fight for queer liberation and change.
Junior talks about early black trans activists like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, and says these iconic leaders are “the reason we know how to create action the way we do.” Junior explains that while many trans rights activists have been kicked out of Pride movement both to be trans and to be sex workers, “they continued to create a community”. For Junior, these fearless pioneers laid the foundation for today’s trans community.
“I look around me at the nightlife scene, the performance scene and the theater scene, and all these different scenes that I’ve been a part of, to see how now people are taking up space without having to give up any part of themselves, or giving up any part of what they want to do,” says Junior. “We all stand on each other’s shoulders as we stand on the shoulders of every last black and brown trans sex worker, each.”
Junior hopes the world that today’s black trans leaders are helping to build can have an equally powerful impact on future generations.
“The community we are building now will be the community that will allow queer young people sitting in their homes right now watching this so they can believe they can do whatever they want,” says Junior. “And not to say that it’s going to be easy, but to say that, babyif you have this homosexuality here, you can overcome anything.
After watching a powerful video in which a trans activist Grace Detrevarah honors Marsha P. Johnson, Chella, Aaron and Junior all agree that showcasing the stories of older black trans women is essential to highlighting their perseverance and commitment to fighting for trans rights.
“Learning to tell our stories, in power and in victory, is something that is not even for [anyone else]“says Junior. ” It is for us. It’s up to us to look at ourselves and look at her, and really be like, I could be her. I could do that. I saw myself in these shoes.
Junior moves from honoring the past to celebrating the present, sharing some of the current Black trans activists who had a powerful impact on his life and mission.
The first activist mentioned by Junior is Doroshow of Ceyennecreator and founder of GLITS, a grassroots organization that provides support to members of the LGTBQIA+ community around the world. Junior also mentions the writer and activist Raquel Williswho she says is the “person who taught me my power”, as well as Liberation of black trans people founder, Qween Jean.
Junior draws inspiration from his heroes past and present, honoring them with his relentless drive to champion and represent the black trans community.
“As a black trans woman, every ancestor I have, I know that no matter where they were, no matter what situation they were in, they looked around at a world that told them that ‘they shouldn’t exist, in a much tougher time than right now, and I saw a reason to keep going,’ Junior says. took to sit where I am right now. There’s no way I can’t continue.
The post office Drag queen legend and civic activist Junior Mintt talks about the steps she’s taken in her work to ensure the trans and black women’s community is seen and heard appeared first on Aware.
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