Hampshire Commencement Address


Reina Gossett is an activist, writer, and filmmaker.  Along with Sasha Wortzel, Reina wrote, directed and produced Happy Birthday, Marsha! a short film about legendary trans activist Marsha P Johnson starring Independent Spirit Award winner Mya Taylor.

As the 2014-2016 Activist-In-Residence at Barnard College’s Center for Research on Women (BCRW) Reina produced and directed No One Is Disposable, a series of cross media platform teaching tools used to spotlight the ways oppressed people are fighting back, surviving and building strong communities in the face of enormous violence. She is currently working on the short animated film The Personal Things about iconic black trans activist Miss Major.

A long time community organizer, Reina worked as the membership director at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project from 2010 to 2014 to lift the voice and power of trans and gender non conforming people and helped lead the successful campaign to end healthcare discrimination against low income trans and gender non conforming New Yorkers. She also worked at Queers for Economic Justice where she directed the Welfare Organizing Projected and produced A Fabulous Attitude, documenting low-income LGBT New Yorkers surviving inequality and thriving despite enormous obstacles. Prior to her work at Queers for Economic Justice Reina worked with Critical Resistance organizing with low income LGBTGNC New Yorkers in a campaign that successfully stopped NYC’s Department of Corrections from building a $375 million new jail in the Bronx.

Reina is a 2007 Soros Justice Fellow, a 2009 Stonewall Community Foundation Honoree, and the recipient of the 2016 Ackerman Institute Community Award. Her work has been supported by the Open Society Foundation, Art Matters Foundation, and the Astraea Foundation’s Global Arts Fund. She was a 2012-2013 fellow of filmmaker Ira Sach’s Queer/Art/Mentorship.  Along with Eric Stanley and Johanna Burton, Reina is an editor of the forthcoming New Museum anthology on trans art and cultural production to be published by MIT Press in 2017.

No One is Disposable: Dean Spade, Reina Gossett and CeCe McDonald Discuss Prison Abolition in The Feminist Wire by Roges Ahnet, May 2014

Profile of Reina in BITCH Magazine by Toshio Meronek April 2014

Interview in THE MEDIA by Chris Lee April 18th, 2014

Reina Gossett, CeCe McDonald and Dean Spade Sit Down to Talk Prison Abolition in Autostraddle by Mey Valdivia Rude April 2014

Conversations on prison abolition with Reina Gossett and Dean Spade by Verónica Bayetti Flores January 2014

Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson: Trans Pioneers, BFFs, Film Stars in ColorLines by Jamilah King, Friday, August 15 2014

Kickstarting Trans Visibility on Screen: Sasha Wortzel on Funding Happy Birthday, Marsha! in Filmmaker Magazine by Sasha Wortzel Aug 8, 2014

A New Film Celebrates and Honors The Legacy of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera in Indiewire by Rodrigo Brandão August 14, 2014


Queer Kickstarter: Behind the Scenes of Two LGBTQ Campaigns in Slate by June Thomas Aug 5, 2014