Meeting Miss Major

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 11.18.01 PM

Image courtesy of missmajorfilm.com

Filmmakers Annalise Ophelian (producer/director) and Storm Miguel Florez (co-producer) have raised more than $27,000 online towards the production of their film MAJOR! – a documentary love letter and oral history of the life and times of activist and proverbial mother Miss Major. With the recent opening of the Miss Major-Jay Toole Building for Social Justice here in New York City and MAJOR! exceeding its KickStarter funding goals, the story and work of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy is taking a front seat on trans-gender oppression. Also couldn’t help but notice how this story is in the Zeitgeist with Orange is the new Black’s  Laverne Cox playing transgender woman Sophia Burset who went to prison with a son on the outside  – a storyline honoring closely the life story of this legend. Knowing little about Miss Major but with this topic trending, this should be a great time for this films release.

After the murder of a dear transgender friend was ruled a suicide by police, Miss Major realized the intense need her community had for activism and began the “do it ourselves” strategy of change she still works toward today. As the Executive Director of the Transgender, Gender Variant, Intersex Justice Project (TGI Justice Project) in Oakland, CA this ageless (as folks says she’ll give different ages all the time, teehee) wonder continues to affect the lives and fight for the rights of transgender persons worldwide.

by Dorit Avganim

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2 Comments

  1. Liz

     /  March 20, 2014

    This is awesome work towards bringing transgender issues to the forefront in media. A major feat in raising funding as well; clearly is telling her story must be told. I love Orange is the New Black and particularly Laverne’s character Sophia Burset. Rarely have there been a transgender character portrayed in media with such depth in character and dignity; not as “freak” or “dysfunctional”. It also adds to a more rounded view of the lives of these individuals with the addition of a photograph project called Becoming Visible documenting homeless transgender kids. To fully understand someone’s story one must TELL their story.

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  2. Korbin Miles

     /  April 3, 2014

    I appreciate things like this. Prior to reading this blog post, I had never heard of Miss Major. I think that there are so many activist that can lead areas and people toward change but often go unnoticed. The fact that she will be recognized in a film is a big deal. Activist work hard and I look forward to hearing more about the film. I think that especially within the black community that a documentary like this is needed. Many transgendered people are still mistreated due to the lack of exposure or knowledge that a person may have in a transgendered persons experience. I think that a film like this will shed light on their stories and open hearts to become more accepting.

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