Transgender Day of Remembrance – Interview with Rusty Rose

Rusty Rose

By Hollis Taylor 

Sister Space 2016 – A Women’s Event with Trans Acceptance!?  Yes they exist! At least they are trying to be inclusive at their event and welcoming a transgender presence. I had an intense experience myself as a GenderQueer/Androgyne – but in a good way. I felt like I educated, opened minds and made some friends and allies. A truly positive experience since I was sort of hesitant at first when I danced with the idea of applying our services at the event. They welcomed us with full knowledge I was GenderQueer with no questions or judgement. I was delightfully surprised to say the least to attend the event with a good receiving from the majority of the attendees. There was great music and artists posted on Instagram and a variety of great workshops and activities. The absolute BEST PART though was meeting Rusty Rose, keep scrolling – check out the videos if you like women’s music. Bright Hawk‘s offers a unique experience with the handpan and a story where the main character is gender neutral, intended to be inclusive for transgender children.

What really got me thought was  the amazing TRANSGENDER poem that is perfect for “Transgender Day of Remembrance” I met Rusty Rose, who was part of the Stonewall march. 

#brighthawkp #handpan #hang #storyteller #storytelling

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#antara #singersongwriter #SisterSpace #women #lesbian

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As I stepped over to get in line to tell my own story about gender, in hopes to continue to educate about non binary people. I had pre-arranged this with an amazing woman that was welcoming and eager to connect with us. We enjoyed her company and she was happy to help us participate in her open mic. We thought there should have been way more open mic, as I think many of the attendees would have loved it. I looked up at the stage and a short, red headed mature woman was on stage yelling her poem into the microphone…I heard Stonewall. She began to tell her story of Stonewall, in poetry form. I was so stunned I forgot to grab my camera! I was in shock. As I listened to Rusty Rose shout at the mic her poem with passion, heart, wisdom and truth. I felt like this was the allie I wanted to talk to! The more the group chanted “Put the T first” the more chills ran down my arms. This is what the GLBTQ community needs, our elders to share their stories! Her presentation really makes it but you will have to try to catch that live as people begin to ask Rusty Rose to attend their events. 

Rusty Rose describes the inspiration for this poem, “It is my interpretation of the events in June ’69 the first night of the rebellion. In this piece it clearly shows our  Trans gender community truly led the way. “
Rusty Rose - Put the T First!

Rusty Rose – Put the T First!

Rusty Rose is a multimedia artist who has gained recognition amongst poetry groups in New York and abroad. She has performed her works for colleges, organizations and social programs. One of her recent works, Swing Set, has been published in Bards Annual 2016, an anthology of Long Island artists. Rusty’s art work has been featured in galleries and the publication, The Exhibitioner. It is available for viewing at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City. 
Rusty is a Stonewall participant and lives on Long Island with her Doxi.
Put the ‘T first  (audience participation in bold and italicized)
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans gender: Do you know why this acronym is not correct?
Put the ‘T first, it is where it belongs!
Musty, smoky, dismal dank hole in the wall—reeks of beer, darkness and independence about to be born—
Put the ‘T first, it is where it belongs!
Inside, sitting on a stool, purple midriff, black eyeliner—-Trans woman tapping her foot against the squat bar stool—
Put the ‘T first, it is where it belongs!
Queers, Bull Daggers, Queens in drag— call us what you may, we are all here!
Put the ‘T first, it is where it belongs!
Purple midriff, black eye lined, beautiful, sweet speaking woman touches my long red hair. We lift our glasses to cheer—
Put the ‘T first, it is where it belongs! 
Jukebox blaring–Jimmy ain’t coming back…Leader of the Pack…One Fine Day… could be today!
Purple midriff, eye liner black, bangs her bangles against the bar; tears in her eyes, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Judy went!
Put the ‘T first, it is where it belongs!
Blue eyed blonde stroking my fancy, dancing slowly; I’m in Heaven—-House lights OVERHEAD—grab a guy, any guy!
Put the ‘T first, it is where it belongs!
Plainclothes on a beat…coming in from the street
Fear in their hearts, guns to their chests
shouts of:  FAGGOT, POOF; you can imagine the rest!
Put the ‘T first, it is where it belongs!
Purple Midriff, Trans woman of fifty, in a nasally voice she mourns…she warns…Judy died, Judy died…hey copper leave us alone!
Bartender out from behind the bar; bounding in the darkened hall; cops nipping at his heels.
Face to face–if they were lovers they would embrace but this is not the case—-
Put the ‘T first, it is where it belongs!
Purple midriff, eye lined woman jumps to her feet; leads the cry…enough, leave us alone!
Alone we are told to sit, some stand…too much confusion, I cannot understand
Put the ‘T first, it is where it belongs!
Purple midriff yanked outside; clutching her hands on the door as she tries to resist
“Identify yourself,” cop shouts pushing me back; I am really pissed!
Stone Butch Vinny caught in the shuffle; standing strong with purple midriff as they shout: LEAVE US ALONE!
Trans gender woman cries, Judy died, enough. Are we all going to die?
Put the ‘T first, it is where it belongs!
It is all surreal…impulsive happening. a surprise…S…U…R…P…R…I…S…E—-UPRISE!
Black, white, Latino, Straight, Gay, old, young…we take a stand
We are the same
In unity, we raise our fists
I am not…we are not…going to be harassed any longer! Outside, the crowd is growing stronger!
Put the ‘T first, it is where it belongs!
Shouts inside are deafening; leave us alone…let us be!
A burly cop is pushing me
Crowd breaking, we are shoved out the door
Purple midriff, black eye liner is smeared on the floor—
We are not, I am not going to take this anymore!
Put the ‘T first, it is where it belongs!
I take a stand, jump on the man who is bashing Trans purple midriff
This could have been you…and you…
It is happening to me, don’t you see——-
Put the T first, it is where it belongs!
Trans woman in purple smiles as I raise her by her hand; she is protesting again
Put the ‘T first, it is where it belongs!
Paddy wagon in the cobbled street, cops dragging purple midriff by her feet. High heel in hand; I am on the back of the man as we all take a stand…
 Put the ‘T first, it is where it belongs; Put the ‘T first it is where it belongs!
 T-L-G-B and even S for straight, this is how our acronym should be
The night we fought to be set free; fighting for our freedom at the Stonewall Inn
I will never forget—beautiful Trans woman of fifty, purple midriff and eye lined; long dark hair, her voice as it raised over the din.
She led the way, this is why I will always say:
 Put the ‘T first, it is where it belongs!
Put the ‘T first, it is where it belongs!
Put the ‘T first!
Copyright2016, R.B.Rose
We had a moment to hear Rusty’s story— here it is:

Hollis Taylor

I have been through many fires and in them I have rose from the ashes, gracefully. I feel a lot like a phoenix. I am a character performer appearing as a Hobbit. I am a humanitarian. I am a passionate yogini. I have a background in scouting for all paths. I am the Publisher for DiversiTree and an author for Green Egg Webzine. I want to review YOUR festival, event, creative passion, performance, or whatever else makes your spirit shine. I am genderqueer feminist with a passion for love, peace, and happiness. I am gender activist. I am radically out of the box about a lot of topics. I am a male impersonator. I am queer, polyamorous, and sex positive. I have a deep burning passion to protect and possibly save the earth, our home planet. Because of my burning passion for the earth I am a committed vegetarian, organic gardner, and farming community supporter. I am an environmentalist and my heros are people like Jane Goodall & John Muir

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