Our Armies Are Rising And We Are Getting Stronger Essay

1793 Words May 23rd, 2016 8 Pages
In her speech “Our Armies Are Rising and We Are Getting Stronger”, to the Latino Gay Men of New York (LGMNY) in 2001, Sylvia Rivera recounted her life in the context of her contribution to transgender activism, specifically that of the Stonewall Riots which took place during the summer of 1969. Throughout her speech Rivera reveals the underlying and persistent marginalization that took place not only on behalf of the cisgender, heteronormative community, but by her own community as well. Just eight months before her death, Rivera’s speech encapsulated a hierarchy of oppression that attacked her from all sides, which is not only reflected through her personal narratives, but also through the memorialization of social movements and the people involved in them. Rivera’s personal narrative will be used as the focal point by which to analyze the hierarchies of marginalization through social movements/events, the publications/accounts of such events, and the erasure/praise in memorializing specific transgender individuals by virtue of their class and race. This paper will discuss the importance of transgender visibility with regards honoring a full and truthful memory of events such as the Stonewall Inn Riots and the Compton Cafeteria Riot. In addition, this paper will conduct a comparative analysis on the coverage and narration surrounding individuals of color and lower economic class, such as Sylvia Rivera and Marsh P. Johnson versus white, middle class individuals who adhere…

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