Miss Major Griffin-Gracy

Interviewed By AJ Lewis

In this interview, Miss Major talks about the culture of transwomen sex workers in New York City and Chicago during the 1960's through 1980's as well as her care-work and advocacy during the rise of the AIDs epidemic, particularly in California. She illustrates her experiences in navigating bathhouse culture, sex work in 1960's New York City and rudimentary hormone and surgery access. Becoming a parent and mentor, Miss Major found ways to maintain herself and family through truck driving and as a community resource through organizations like Tenderloin AIDs Resource Project, Angels for Care, Trans Gender, Gender Variant and Intersex Justice Project and her most recent creation; Griffin Gracy Historical Retreat and Resource Center. (Summary by Kirsten Adorian.)

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AJ Lewis (00:02)
Miss Major Griffin Gracy (00:05)
Trans Oral History Project (00:09)
New York Public Library (00:12)
Elder (00:48)
Transgender (00:50)
70 years old (00:51)
Chicago (01:28)
Illinois (01:30)
father and mother (01:37)
words (02:17)
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the 50's (03:19)
upper middle class (03:29)
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high school (04:57)
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dresses (05:01)
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A Funny Thing Happened on The Way To The Forum (22:16)
Sylvia Rivera (22:52)
Marsha P. Johnson (22:53)
The Politics of Our Existence (23:00)
STAR (23:33)
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rats (32:30)
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turnin' tricks (34:03)
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Stonewall (51:00)
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Little Rock (01:58:32)
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aura (02:03:24)
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Griffin Gracy Historical Retreat and Resource Center (02:06:27)
House of GGs.com (02:06:34)
documentary (02:07:21)
status quo (02:07:57)

Transcript

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Interview Data

Date of Interview
December 16, 2017
Location of Interview
Radisson Hotel, Midtown Manhattan
Place of birth
Chicago, IL
Occupations
Activist
Gender Pronoun
She
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About This Collection

NYC Trans Oral History Project

NYPL's Community Oral History Project is teaming up with the NYC Trans Oral History Project to collect, preserve, and share oral histories from our city's transgender and gender non-conforming communities. 

We'll be training a community corps of interviewers to collect these largely undocumented oral histories in order to build a lasting and expansive archive on NYC transgender experiences.

About the NYC Trans Oral History Project:

We are a collective, community archive working to document transgender resistance and resilience in New York City. We work to confront the erasure of trans lives and to record diverse histories of gender as intersecting with race and racism, poverty, dis/ability, aging, housing migration, sexism, and the AIDS crisis. 

We are inspired by the public history activism of the ACT UP oral history project to build knowledge as a part of our anti-oppression work. We believe oral history is a powerful part of social justice work, and that building an alternative archive of transgender histories can transform our organizing for transgender liberation. 

You can listen to interviews, search interviews tags (like #genderfluidity #self-knowledge #gentrification and #queerfamily), and soon read transcripts. We hope the interviews and tags will preserve and proliferate new knowledges about trans and gender non-conforming experiences.

Content warning: Many of the interviews here include personal accounts of violence, sexual assault, abuse as children, or trauma.