S.V.A (Stonewall Veterans Association)

For my presentation I am working off the reading we did for class which was by Che Gossett called Silhouettes of Defiance.  It basically covers a few of the historical sites of queer and transgender resistance.  Stonewall was an example of this resistance so I thought it was perfect to relate the reading to its main focus and choose the S.V.A.

The S.V.A is an association that’s sole purpose is to help all veterans that were involved in the stonewall riots of 1969.  None the less they help many others that are part of the LBGT community


Even though the Stonewall Rebellion took place in 1969 — not 1869 — the rebellion was not photographed or filmed by the media because they deemed it “unimportant”.  Unless a treasure trove of forgotten images is one day unearthed, there will be endless speculation of what exactly occurred during those five, inconsecutive, steamy nights and early morning hours.  We must preserve the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (“GLBT”) heritage we have before it is significantly and irrevocably lost!

The STONEWALL Veterans’ Association (“S.V.A.”) positively and proudly represents Gay, Lesbian, Bi and Transgender (“GLBT”) history and culture.  The Executive Committee of the S.V.A. consists exclusively of actual participants in the historic 1969 Stonewall Rebellion.  The S.V.A. focuses our multi-dimensional and diverse organization as a viable group of Gay men, Lesbian women, Bi folks and Transgender people.  We strive for the facts and challenge the inaccuracies.

 The S.V.A. delivers the following:

 (1) education

 (2) community-building

 (3) support

(4) communication

 (5) outreach as our primary purposes.

 Therefore, to educate, for example, we provide, on a regular and reliable basis, unquestionably unique, invaluable and factual information to individuals, groups, public officials, organizations and institutions via various means including mailings, phone calls, promotions and guest speakers.  An expanded purpose under our rainbow umbrella of support consisits of homecare assistance, legal advice and financial support to help keep all of the actual Stonewall veterans active, healthy and united.


Ensure that the STONEWALL Vetrerans’ Association continues to be a significant, visible and activist force in the New York City area and far beyond.

Allocate funds to assist Veterans of the Stonewall Rebellion who are indigent and need financial assistance with shelter, medical care, utilities, food, transportation, etc.

Creation of a free or low-cost food/clothing collective for the needy in the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (“GLBT”) communities.

Preserve our colorful and varied history by updating our archives consisting of videos and audio tapes and, of course, photographs and images of Stonewall Veterans and other notables of the GLBT communities.

Maintain a consistent, strong, persistent and unified voice in politics and the media.




The S.V.A. is registered with the State of New York Charities Bureau.


“Search” enter:  STONEWALL Veterans’ Association or S.V.A.


SVA relates so perfectly with the course during this time we are talking about history and resistance for queer and transgender. It was interesting for me to find the SVA and see how recent and long they have kept their association together they still have meetings today and are constantly trying to help support any LBGT members of their community.

I think this organization helps illustrate our course discussion very well.  It lets us take a view into something that I don’t know too much about and has really opened my eyes that even though there are so many organizations and events referring to the LQBT community there is still a long way to go with not only their rights but being heard.

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discussion questions

1. According to the description of trans phobia and homophobia which one do you believe drove the murders to do such a hostile act towards Gwen?

2. Is Gwens “misleading” gender categorized as a deceiver or a pretender according to Bettchers description of both terms?

3.Would announcing herself as Trans really change the outcome of the situation according to the double bind concept approached by Bettcher?

4.Should Gwen be categorized under certain terms such as deceiver or pretender for being who she truly feels she is?

Gender Identity

Gender identity is described as a person’s personal sense of their own gender.  Throughout the course, gender has been one of the main topics discussed.  Not only what gender is but how we classify exactly what gender we choose to be.  Through Jamie Cortez’s “Sexile” and Manalansans “Global Divas” we get a much better sense of what gender identity really is.  In Cortez’s “Sexile” we get a view of what it is like to be transgender and how hard it is for Adele to be whom she truly is.  And Global Divas defines the border between bakla and gay.

Throughout the struggle of finding one’s self others are going to judge and criticize and we see that in this story.  Adele is literally torn apart and hits rock bottom before she ever makes progress.  At a very young age although biologically born a male she always knew she was a woman.   She is aware of her gender identity she does not allow a piece of paper to tell her otherwise.  Joining a school pageant and dressing as a girl and really expressing who she was, was the first step of accepting who she was and who she was going to be.  But from that one step an even bigger set back arose.  Being drafted although seems as a big deal Adele did not hide and dressed the way she wanted and was sent back for being ineligible for the army due to being a “homosexual”.  Adele broke the boundaries and proved that you can be who you truly want to be.  Although there is going to be a lot of struggle in the end it will be worth it.  Through the discrimination and mal treatment she went through, she became who she was always supposed to be, Adele.

Through Manalansans “Global Divas” we get this new concept of Bakla.  Bakla is a male who is attracted to men.  Some dress like woman and even self-identify as women.  I liked the term of bakla because it gives us a different view of gender identity.  They truly choose to be exactly who they are and love who they want.  They also describe that the masculine bakla has a female heart.  That made me have a different way of viewing gay because her in the United States we see as male to male companions as gay.  But the way bakla is described is such a more beautiful definition.  Identifying with ones gender is not all about title but about the feeling.

Gender identity ties back into Transgender because its gives us a view of how someone wants to be perceived away from their biological identity.  This class has already opened up my eyes so much to how people are so quick to label everything and sometimes not everything or everyone can be labeled.  Through both of the readings I have learned that gender identity is how you feel and is just who you are.  People cannot go around labeling others.  The first day of class we were asked our gender preferred pronouns.  That really opened up my eyes that people want respect about who they are and I really enjoyed that because labeling is not something that defines us we are who define us.