23 Jun PRIDE Culture in San Francisco, Activism and the Influence of Art and Music in shaping the LGBTQ+ Movement – featuring The Nervous Breakdowns, Keala Ramos, Ana “Smitty” Smith, and Miss Major (Ep. 17)
Our Beauty for Freedom, Breaking Distance Podcast Team sat down for a candid discussion about the history of San Francisco Pride, Queer Culture, Activism and the Influence of The Arts and Music with Artist, “Credit in the Straight World” Film Director, and “Nervous Breakdowns” Band Founder Keala Ramos, a Nonprofit Industrial Complex Rabble-Rouser Ana “Smitty” Smith and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy a Transgender Activist, Advocate and the Executive Director of the Griffin-Gracy Educational Retreat & Historical Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Griffin-Gracy Educational Retreat & Historical Center’s (a.k.a. “House of GG”) mission is to create programs, services, and resources that positively impact the lives, history, and visibility of Transgender, gender-questioning, and gender-nonconforming people. They do this through programs that promote healing justice, resilience, and organizing among our communities, particularly by and for transgender women of color, to remove barriers that inhibit our survival.
More About Keala Ramos
Keala Ramos is a Hawaiian artist/filmmaker/musician born and raised on the island of O’ahu. He moved to San Francisco to further his education in art and music, but he also ended up studying filmmaking and finding his creative and queer identity. He then moved to New York City to continue his creative exploration, and he has called Queens home for the last 13 years.
More About Ana “Smitty” Smith
Ana “Smitty” Smith is a 50-year old Peruvian-American butch lesbian whose political activism began at the age of 23 when they voted to unionize at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF). Like other union activists at SFAF, Smitty was fired, but they have continued to make change from within at other San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit organizations, such as removing an ineffective AIDS organization Executive Director, increasing Latino student enrollment at a Mission District music school, and advocating for the hiring of a Black consultant to lead a barely-Black nonprofit in discussing diversity. Smitty was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and lived in Peru from 2014-2016, where they also marched alongside the Peruvian LGBT community in their struggle for equal rights. https://houseofgg.org/
More About Miss Major Griffin-Gracy
Miss Major is a black trans elder who is the subject of the 2015 documentary film “Major!” by filmmakers Annalise Ophelian and Storm Miguel Florez. This film details her lifelong activism and participation in the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City, a key moment in the modern LGBT civil rights movement. The film premiered in San Francisco and has been screened at various film festivals around the world. The Griffin-Gracy Educational Retreat & Historical Center’s (a.k.a. “House of GG”) mission is to create programs, services, and resources that positively impact the lives, history, and visibility of Transgender, gender-questioning, and gender-nonconforming people. We do this through programs that promote healing justice, resilience, and organizing among our communities, particularly by and for transgender women of color, to remove barriers that inhibit our survival.
The brain-child of world-renowned Trans revolutionary Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, we are the first educational and historical center solely dedicated to Transgender and gender nonconforming people in the USA.
As a survivor of the historic Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969, Miss Major helped to pioneer the TLGBQ liberation movement. She continues that work five decades later.
Miss Major’s legacy project is House of GG – a permanent home in Arkansas where Transgender people can come, feel safe, and be part of a growing network of Southern Trans people who are working for social justice. https://houseofgg.org/