Eight years ago, in December 2005, community members, organizers, artists, friends and sweethearts poured through the doors of a small gallery on the Lower East Side to join the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, founded by Dean Spade, at the first annual art auction benefit, Small Works for Big Change. Today’s Huffington Post carries an informative article about SRLP. “Forty artists donated their art, helping SRLP raise $9,000 to support a movement for gender self-determination centered in racial and economic justice, and to celebrate the dynamic and visionary artists among us.
“SRLP is a collective organization that works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence. SRLP roots its work in an understanding that gender self-determination is inextricably intertwined with racial, social and economic justice.
“Transgender and gender-nonconforming communities, especially communities of color, face persistent and severe discrimination and violence in employment, housing, health care and education, leading to disproportionate poverty. Because the state criminalizes trans people’s limited survival options, such as sex and drug work, and low-income trans people and trans people of color are already commonly profiled by the police, these factors lead to disproportionate incarceration. In prison, trans people suffer additional harms, including harassment, violence and denial of gender-affirming health care. For trans immigrants, disproportionate targeting and its consequences multiply exponentially. All these factors combine into an interlocking system of oppression. Continue reading “On the Sylvia Rivera Law Project”