16 July 2016 – We are here in St. Louis at Netroots Nation and, as usual, it’s remarkable. On Friday we sat down for a truly wonderful interview with Lady Ashley Gregory, of QT POC STL, and Capella Marissa Huniwalt of the Metro Trans Umbrella Group. Together these two organizations work symbiotically to empower the queer and trans community of St. Louis. The Metro Trans Umbrella Group delivers against their CAVE (Community, Advocacy, Visibility, Education) Priorities in genuinely impressive ways including providing nationally certified trainings to hospitals, universities and community organizations on providing trans related services and on interacting with trans individuals. They have recently also built and opened the first Trans Memorial Garden in the nation. I especially love the quote they have on a sign there, “They thought they could bury us. They did not know we were seeds.”
Speaking of seeds, QT POC STL grew out of the swirl of emotions following the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. The QT POC community needed a place to talk and to organize. From that beginning an organization has grown. As Lady Ashley says during the interview (paraphrased here), “When they go to write history books in the future, Ferguson will figure prominently.” There is no question of this and QT POC STL is just one of the examples of how the nation has been forever changed by the activism which was trigged initially by the murders of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.
This episode of Hopping Mad is exclusively dedicated to the articulate, informative, exceptional interview and we thank our guests. – Carrots! Arliss