SRLP Membership Director Reina Gossett spoke to ABC News about why she identifies as queer.
Reina Gossett, a 30-year-old transgender woman who identifies as “queer,” said the term is “political” and has a “legacy of resistance.”
“There is a long history of people who identified on the margins of culture,” she said. “It’s about naming a lineage of people who are gender outlaws and didn’t fit into normative ideas about what it means to be gay or lesbian. It’s a way to subvert the idea that we should all be normal. That being like everyone else is a good thing.”
Gossett works with the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, which assists low-income transgender communities, providing legal services and education.
Sylvia Rivera was a veteran of the 1969 Stonewall uprising, and fought against the exclusion of transgender people from the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act in New York. She died in 2002.
In the early days of the gay pride movement, those who self-identified as “drag queens” and “transvestites” were “tossed aside” by middle-class professionals, said Gossett.
“She was literally kicked off the stage in a gay pride rally in 1973,” she said. Gossett said calling herself queer is a way to be “part of a larger movement.”