Known simply as 'Mama' to those in her community, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a formerly incarcerated Black transgender elder and activist is the focus of powerful documentary film 'Major!'
A veteran of the Stonewall Rebellion (Widely regarded as the catalyst for the LGBT civil rights movement in the US) a former sex worker and a survivor of Attica State Prison, for over 40 years, Griffin-Gracy has been at the forefront fighting for the rights of trans women of colour.
The film, which premiered last year at the Inside Out Festival, was created by Annalise Ophelian, and follows the current work of Griffin-Gracy's through the TGI Justice Project, 'a group of transgender, gender variant and intersex people, creating a united family in the struggle for survival and freedom.'
In the documentary, Griffin-Gracy talks about the platform as a necessity for giving a voice to those who are too often not given a chance. "We don't get a chance to tell our stories as trans-gendered women, it's gotten better lately, but the people that are asking them are too selective. Don't make a judgement by what you see, that don't cut it."
I don't know why i'm still here. I guess i still have stuff to complain about, bitch about and try to change as much as possible
There is also reflection on fighting the same battles, year after year."I don't know why I'm still here. I guess I still have stuff to complain about, bitch about and try to change as much as possible."
The documentary reveals the rare level of selflessness and care that Griffin-Gracy has for members of her community, even those that she doesn't know personally, and also touches on the disproportionate number from the community that end up in jail.
A true hero in her community, the documentary reveals how 'caring for each-other can be a revolutionary act.'
Speaking to Vice, Griffin-Gracy said that as long as she is needed, she will continue her battle. "My community still needs help. They still need to know there are people out there that cares about them. That they don't have to do anything special—you know you don't have to have a feather flowing out your head just be who you are stand your own ground, and have someone appreciate you for that. And that's me."