The following essay was written by one SRLP’s PAC members while she was held in the Transgender Housing Unit (THU) of the NYC jails. This essay was inspired by an article on Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson and their legacy of resistance. – Mik
I am a 34 year-old Puerto Rican trans woman named J’asiyah A. Colón. I have a lot of friends who are trans. We love the trans women of color and everyone that was there on June 28, 1969, because they did everything to not take no as an answer. They gave me the power and the strength to live and walk with my head up and not to think that something is wrong with being me. I know now that there is nothing wrong with me, just them. I pray for my sisters. I pray for Marsha P. Johnson. She was a fighter for friends and family and did not have to die young. I’m mad that they did not find anything out yet about her case. I pray for Sylvia Rivera, because she was one strong woman, only 17 years old when she was fighting for us. She did not care, and I love her for that. She was the first bystander to throw a bottle. “Wow! Yes, stand up here 17 and strong.” I would have done the same thing for us to live free. And we are still fighting today, and we have freedom to walk free because of them, so thank them for that and thanks to everyone that is fighting now for us. I want to say love yourself and be happy, because I love you all my brothers and sisters. I thank you all for what you are doing and what you have done, and I stand with you on anything you do for us and our FREEDOM.
J’asiyah A. Colón