Spring Speakers Series — Che Gossett

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Spring Speakers Series — Che Gossett
March 20, 2014 6:30 pm
March 20, 2014 8:30 pm
Annenberg Hall, Room 201
2020 N. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19122, United States

Activist and writer Che Gossett will present “Media Activism: Mobilizing for Racial, Sexual and Gender Justice.”

Kiyoshi Kuromiya’s voice of resistance was part of a collective cry vocalized by radical queer, trans and gender variant people of color who battled imperialism, racism, the criminalization of HIV/AIDS, and the prison industrial complex during the 1960s and into the 2000s. Radical LGBTQ and gender-non-conforming people of color both resisted and were impacted by COINTELPRO, the war on the black liberation movement, the FBI surveillance of gay liberationist groups, the Reagan administration’s apathy towards AIDS, gay consumerism and neoliberal market policies. While many of the queer left have critiqued the limits of mainstream LGBT political horizons, there have been few attempts to historicize and contextualize them.

One of the goals of my talk will be to show a queer history of the present. Kuromiya’s life also sheds new light on LGBT, civil rights, black power, New Left, queer and AIDS activist social movements and history. Kuromiya’s story is a counter to the portrayals of the civil rights and black power movement history which overlook the role that queer and trans people of color played, and it also expands the lens of mainstream LGBT history to show the role of AIDS activists of color and ACT UP Philadelphia as well as local acts of resistance such as the Dewey Café uprising which preceded Stonewall.

Che Gossett is a black gender queer and femme fabulous writer and activist. Gossett is a contributor to Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex (eds. Nat Smith and Eric Stanley) and The Transgender Studies Reader v. II (eds. Aren Azuira and Susan Stryer), and this past summer had the honor of being part of a phenomenal delegation of archivists and librarians to Palestine. Gossett is currently working on a biography of queer Japanese American AIDS activist, Kiyoshi Kuromiya.


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