STREET TRANSVESTITE ACTION REVOLUTIONARIES:
survival, revolt, and queer antagonist struggle
Untorelli Press presents a compilation of historical documents, interviews, and critical analyses of STAR, a group of street queens in early 70s New York City who self-organized for survival and revolt. Contained within are pamphlets distributed by STAR, as well as interviews with and speeches by Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson. Additionally, we are excited to include a critical essay by Ehn Nothing on STAR’s legacy, the enemies of queer insurrection, and the war against gender.
I just noticed Untorelli Press’ sylvia/star book and am glad that its compiled it and being distributed. but it also raised concerns that i’ve been thinking about for a while now.
i’m glad everyone is sharing this material, it certainly does not belong to me and it needs to be shared as part of sylvia and star’s legacy.
But i’m saddened when an anti-authoritarian press with a wider distribution reach (because of how oppression works) takes material that i worked hard for years to make accessible to the world and doesn’t credit the labor that went into gathering it.
I unearthed this material thru hustling my way into spaces that are historically unaccessible to black trans women. Most recently when I went to the New York Public Library to try and find STAR’s statement I was accosted coming out the bathroom and scrutinized by security. This isn’t something new, just part of living for me. But that’s also part of the story of how the statement landed on the internet.
So when black trans women like myself do a lot of the unearthing work but then a press never cites that labor but just shares a “new book”I say time out. Especially when the people behind the book are trying to highlight the work of star and trans people of color as revolutionary precursors to themselves.
I have to say something because this is racism, ableism, white supremacy and transphobia at work and enacted, within our movement space.
This was labor and like the stories of marsha and sylvia, the labor i put into this isn’t even considered labor but something new exiting and revolutionary. Why not just use your distro reach to link back to the people already doing that work?
Again, i’m more than thrilled that the voices of trans revolutionaries are amplified and elevated but in that process do not erase the work of trans people of color that helped make your knowledge of star, sylvia and marsha possible, specifically black and latina trans women who did this as ways to connect with their own legacies of relationship and resistance.
i originally uploaded that sylvia 1973 video after going thru the archives to find it:
re-wrote and pasted the star statement (previously not on the internet) after going to the notoriously transphobic new york public library and dealing with their security guards:
edited and posted the sylvia radio show interview with officer pine during my ten year memorial post last year.