A Mother of A Revolution! (2019)
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This piece is a celebration of the bravery of trans women, and in particular, Marsha "Pay It No Mind" Johnson. Marsha is credited with being one of the instigators of the famous Stonewall uprising of June 28,1969 – one of the pivotal events of the LGBTQ liberation movement of the 20th century – which is commemorated annually during the worldwide Gay Pride celebrations. Existing as a trans woman, especially a trans woman of color, and daring to live authentically, creating space for oneself in a transphobic world is one of the bravest acts I can imagine. Over 20 trans women were murdered in the United States in 2018 alone. There is no demographic more deserving, and frankly, long overdue for highlighted heroism and bravery. The disco vibe in the latter half of the piece is meant to honor club culture, a sacred space held amongst LGBTQ persons in which to love, live, mourn, heal, strategize, connect, disconnect, and dance in defiance of those outside forces who would seek to do LGBTQ persons harm simply for daring to exist and take up space.
We pump our fists to honor the life, heroism, activism, and bravery of Marsha P. Johnson, to honor the legacy of the Stonewall revolution, to honor the memory of the trans lives violently ended due to fear and hatred, and in honor of trans women worldwide who continue to exist unapologetically and who demand to be seen.
This piece was commissioned by the Desert Winds Freedom Band, under the direction of Dean McDowell, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.