Imagining Otherwise: Educated Hope and Emancipatory Knowledge

A response to the panel “Using Knowledge, Advancing Activism” at the conference Activism and the Academy: Celebrating 40 Years of Feminist Scholarship and Action. Watch the video here: As I was writing my comments for the Campus Activism panel at the 2011 Activism and the Academy Conference, I was aware of the historicity of the […]

Our People Are Worth the Risks: A Southern Queer Agenda from the Margins and the Red States

In the best parts of our tradition as LGBTQ people for liberation, we have resisted assimilation. We have held die-ins, we have risked our lives at pride celebrations, we have been willing to be part of spectacle and even to be hated—in the hope that our work would mean motion towards liberation. We have witnessed […]

Still Coming Ashore: The LGBT Community and the Many Meanings of Family

I am the director of Center Kids, the family program of the LGBT Community Center. My partner and I and our infant son were one of the first families in the program in the fall of 1988, when we were still meeting in one other’s apartments and did not yet have a name or an […]

The FIERCE Fight for Power and the Preservation of Public Space in the West Village

In 1998 New York state signed the Hudson River Park Act into law, which essentially created a public-private partnership to develop the dilapidated piers from Battery Park to 59th Street along the West Side of Manhattan. The Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) was born as the overseers for the future development of each pier, one […]

What’s Home Got to Do with It? Unsheltered Queer Youth

D was 17 years old when she was kicked out of her mother’s house. D’s mother didn’t accept D’s sexuality. While she was never able to state honestly that it was D’s sexuality or gender expression that was an issue, she constantly tried to change who D was. She fought with D about who her […]

Defying Realpolitik: Human Rights and the HIV Entry Bar

This is the story of how we won; of how a coalition of advocates and activists came together and used a rights-based argument to lift a 23-year-old US bar on the entry, residence, and stay of HIV-positive people. We were told our objective was unrealistic and that our tactics wouldn’t work. Yet, after a little […]

Queering Immigration: Perspectives on Cross-Movement Organizing

Tara is a 27-year-old transgender woman from Guyana. When she entered the United States at JFK airport in New York, she declared to immigration officials that she was escaping lifelong torture and recent rape in Guyana and was seeking asylum in the United States. To her surprise she was held in an immigration detention facility, […]

Reclaiming Our Lineage: Organized Queer, Gender-Nonconforming, and Transgender Resistance to Police Violence

The riots that erupted at the Stonewall Bar on Christopher Street on the night of June 28, 1969, like the one at San Francisco’s Compton Cafeteria in 1966, signaled a real turning point in queer activism. And yet, rather than being narrated as an urgent act of resistance and rebellion against state violence, the story […]

Equality with Power: Fighting for Economic Justice at Work

In 2003 I attended the Dyke March in Toronto during that city’s LGBT Pride celebration. In conversation with a gay man I met there, I mentioned the surprising decision that the United States Supreme Court had just issued in Lawrence v. Texas.[1] After years of struggle in the streets and the courts, the LGBT movement […]

Creating Change

Twice in the last handful of years, I was given the opportunity to share my thoughts about the state of the LGBT movement and about issues of strategic direction. In November 2005, in Oakland and in January 2009, in Denver, I spoke at plenary sessions of the NGLTF’s (National Gay and Lesbian Task Force) Creating […]