Miss Major is the recipient of the GAY TIMES Honour for International Community Trailblazer.
A visionary activist and Stonewall veteran, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy (commonly referred to as just “Miss Major”) has been at the forefront of the transgender liberation movement and has dedicated her life’s work to improve the lives of her community.
Born in Chicago in the 1940s, her lived experience as a Black trans woman has both fuelled and informed her work to promote legislative freedoms and enhance the quality of life for LGBTQIA+ people – especially gender-diverse people facing social issues, such as police brutality and drug dependency.
Miss Major flourished through the city’s drag balls, before relocating to New York in the early 1960s, where she became a regular on the Stonewall roster of talent.
The activist, alongside Marsha P. Johnson, were present at the fateful night in 1969 when the Stonewall Riots broke out. This laid the foundation and sparked the inception of the contemporary LGBTQIA+ rights movement.
Miss Major later started her charitable endeavours, where she worked in food banks, set up one of America’s first needle exchange clinics and headed up a group of trans women who served as primary caregivers to gay men during the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
In recent times, Miss Major has continued to scale-up her contribution to the LGBTQIA+ community. From 2010 to 2015, she served as the first Executive Director of the Transgender Gender-Variant Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP) – an organisation which aims to end human rights abuses against trans people of colour while incarcerated.
Today, her work has culminated in the creation of the House of gg (also known as The Griffin-Gracy Educational and Historical Center), which is a safe haven for trans and gender non-conforming women of colour living in the South of the United States. An invaluable and pioneering community hub, it provides the tools and access to help trans women of colour blossom.
You can read more about Griffin-Gracy’s life within the pages of her memoir Miss Major Speaks: Conversations with a Black Trans Revolutionary.
GAY TIMES Honours 2023 celebrates the individuals and organisations who have had a profound effect on the lives of LGBTQIA+ people over the past 12 months.
This year’s line-up of Honourees acknowledges people making huge impact in music, TV, film, community and drag.
The new digital edition of GAY TIMES Magazine spotlights this year’s winners and is available to read now on the GAY TIMES app, Apple News +, Readly and Flipster.
To follow all of the action from GAY TIMES Honours 2023, check out our Instagram @GAYTIMES.