DOCUMENTARY: Filmmakers Tell the Story of Transgender Civil Rights Activist, Miss MAJOR!

Miss Major Film

San Francisco filmmakers and artists Annalise Ophelian and StormMiguel Florez are working on MAJOR! a new documentary film about transgender elder and pioneering civil rights activist Miss Major.

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy is a Black transgender woman, a formerly incarcerated person, a former sex worker, an elder, a community leader, and an internationally-recognized human rights activist. From the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion to her current work as Executive Director of the Transgender GenderVariant Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), she’s worked tirelessly for transgender rights for over 40 years. Miss Major has rallied in front of government officials and spoken around the world, but her most enduring legacy has been uniquely personal. She’s been the emergency phone call, the helping hand, and the surrogate mother to an entire community of transgender women whom she’s supported, mentored, and helped mold into the next generation of community leaders.

Her story is one that NEEDS to be known. And Flores and Ophelian are well-positioned to tell it. As interviewed in the Huffington Post, queer filmmakers have a sense of responsibility in bringing visibility to people often marginalized from major media, whose heroic actions are often invisible or erased from LGBTQ history. StormMiguel Florez says, “As a trans man of color, it’s important for me to support trans women of color in my life who I feel like have really paved the way… there is a responsibility to make this kind of work that’s documenting lives of people whose lives are not going to get documented by the mainstream.” Collaborator Ophelian agrees:

“I personally feel that documentary film has tremendous power to share the authenticities and realities of queer and transgender lives with audiences. When you know more about queer and transgender people — how we live our lives, who we love, where we work, where we live -– it’s harder to kill us. It’s harder to fire us from our jobs. It’s harder to kick us out of our houses. That’s the really revolutionary thing, I think, about LGBT film. That we’re speaking truth for our own people and giving a mirror to our own communities to celebrate the things we’ve done. But we’re also reaching out to people outside of our communities and showing them something that, I think, will foster a more humane world.”

With just days remaining in their Kickstarter fund, now is the time to act to help our community tell a story that has the power to inspire and impact. Trans Author and Activist Janet Mock, whose forthcoming book Redefining Realness is included as a rewards perk, adds:

“I grew up not knowing that Miss Major existed. The success of this project means that young trans women like myself and queer people of color will have access to hearing Miss Major’s story from her, and those who love her… Let’s make this film as major as Miss Major’s legacy and impact.”

Donate to their Kickstarter, and help us spread the word to get MAJOR! funded. You can also follow the campaign and give them your support on Twitter and Facebook.


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