On June 28th, 1969 at Stonewall Inn, the LGBT2SQIAP+ community resisted police violence and fought for liberation, resulting in five days of riots. The Stonewall Riots sparked radical organizing to create visibility and equity in the transgender and gender non-conforming community. In 2019, the City of Minneapolis’ Division of Race and Equity conducted an oral history project celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
The Stonewall Oral History Project explored the Stonewall riots’ legacy in shaping past, current, and future progress and concerns in the Minneapolis transgender and nonbinary community. The Stonewall Oral History Project reflects on the riots’ influence on key issues relevant both then and now bringing equity to the community. The oral history project is captured through a three-part video series.
The one-on-one interviews for the Stonewall Oral History project created space for the BIPOC trans and nonbinary community to reflect on the uprising. BIPOC trans and nonbinary community members reflect on the legacy and leaders of the Stonewall era such as Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Miss Major. The interviews echo the importance of knowing the history and power behind the Stonewall uprising because it continues to shape our movements towards equity for the BIPOC trans and nonbinary community. The community members take on the activism of the uprising to envision a future of equity and healing in Minneapolis that supports and uplifts their livelihood.
The panel discussion features an honest conversation within the BIPOC trans and nonbinary community about the change and progress that still needs to take place in Minneapolis. Community members identify that the Minneapolis' lived experience is like the Stonewall era's; economic disparities in housing and pay persist. Minneapolis is unique because they've elected two BIPOC trans leaders to their City Council. This milestone does not go unnoticed, but the community recognizes that improvement is still necessary. The panel agrees that the community must come together and support one another to make change for the BIPOC trans and nonbinary people in Minneapolis.
The shared poem by Baki Porter and Council Vice President, Andrea Jenkins, powerfully defines queer and the freedom to be oneself as an essential part of the BIPOC trans and nonbinary community. The two come together to emphasize solidarity within the diverse experiences of the community. The poem reminds us of the continuous and resilient, black and brown trans led fight against systems of oppression. Here, you will see the boldness and love that has been an anchor in the community as they thrive while carrying on the legacy of the Stonewall uprising within the movements in Minneapolis.