Through the month of October, Pride Soc will be using this account to highlight some queer, Black women who may have been sidelined or overlooked by history.
Miss Major Griffin-Gracy (Born 1940), more commonly known as just Miss Major, is the first woman on this list who is still with us today – but not the last – at 82 years old. With the average life expectancy of a transgender person being 30 -35, trans elders are a very small denomination of our community, combined with racism, a ‘Black Transgender Elder’ remains unusual and to some unthinkable, however this is precisely what Miss Major is.
She was born on October 25th (remember to celebrate her birthday in two weeks!) and assigned male at birth, around the age of 16 she began experimenting with her gender presentation, trying on her mother’s clothes. Unfortunately, Griffin’s mother found out and she then started meeting up with friends that she describes as ‘little’ drag queens.
Miss Major is a veteran of the Stonewall Riots; she survived incarceration in the Attica State Prison and went on to work with several HIV/AIDs organizations in the San Francisco area. During the early 1980s, she focused her commitment directly on helping people with HIV/AIDS – she even drove San Francisco’s first mobile needle exchange.
Thank you to the Pride Society and Kit Lashmar for supplying the profiles. Head over to their Instagram to see more profiles being published through out October.