Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bringing Trans Awareness Week Home: Finding Sage Smith in Virginia

Photo Courtesy Lavender Sink Collective

Photo Courtesy Lavender Sink Collective

So far this year, we’ve lost at least 16 people to transphobic murder and those are just the ones that we know about. Statistics like these can be daunting, can haunt us, and can be perplexing in a moment when transgender people are more visible than ever in the national pop culture spotlight. As television shows like Orange Is the New Black and TransParent make it normal to discuss gender identity on the stage of Katie Couric or the pages of Time magazine, we’re left wondering, questioning, if all this visibility will ever begin to chip away at the violence targeted towards trans people everyday.

In our own state we’re reminded of that violence this week, which marks November 20, the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) and the two-year anniversary of Sage Smith’s disappearance. Sage is a young black trans girl from Charlottesville. She went missing two years ago and despite the pleas of her family and community organizers, the City of Charlottesville, both the public and the institutions that their taxes fund, have largely ignored her disappearance becoming agents and perpetuators of the narrative of black-girl disposability.

Those who are fighting for Sage’s name to be remembered, and have been for the past 730 days, are demanding more than disposability; they are demanding dignity and they are renewing the call to find Sage. As an LGBTQ organization committed to our collective liberation we are asking SONG membership and allies, other LGBTQ organizations, groups, and leaders, and the LGBTQ community at large across Virginia to support this call. We are asking you to commit to making sure that Sage Smith, her family, and her friends are not forgotten. What can you do?

  1. Learn more about Sage’s case at Lavender Kitchen Sink Collective and watch the video for Trans Visibility, Trans Justice, an event hosted at the beginning of November with activist Cece McDonald to support Sage’s cause.
  2. Organizers and family members are working to hold the Charlottesville Police Department accountable as they launch a fundraising campaign to help fund a private investigation to find Sage. You can donate here http://www.youcaring.com/other/find-sage-smith/256254
  3. Help SONG with our Love Letter Campaign to Sage’s Grandmother Lolita Smith. Sage’s family could use some love and support from our community to tell them that the work that they are doing matters and that Sage’s life matters. Please send mail to

Lolita Smith
731 Orangedale Avenue
Charlottesville, VA 22903

We hope you will join us in this effort to support Sage’s family towards trans justice and liberation.

Hermelinda and Salem

Upcoming Events

Charlottesville
A Vigil For Sage Smith
November 20
https://www.facebook.com/events/1410982992525234/

Harrisonburg
Film Screening:  Pay It No Mind The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson
November 21
https://www.facebook.com/events/1516336818616234

Richmond
TDOR
November 20
https://www.facebook.com/events/383288121825223/

Trans Day of Celebration
December 14
https://www.facebook.com/events/771412109562208/

Not One More by Moya Bailey

The hypocrisy of the United States is sometimes difficult for me to understand. President Barack Obama battles racism daily as the the leader of the so called “free world,” but participates in the use of state power that hurts other marginalized groups.This country, built on stolen land and labor, genocide and enslavement, has the audacity to try and enforce illegal borders created by broken treaties. How can the United States participate in oppressive economic and political actions around the world and react any way other than hospitably to the displaced people its foreign policy creates?

The media paints a contradictory picture of immigrants as lazy freeloaders who are simultaneously “stealing” American jobs when immigrants pay taxes and do some of the hardest, most dangerous work that the United States has to offer. Yet, the political benefits for politicians who are “tough on immigration” far outweigh collective outrage about families ripped apart by deportation. Immigrants are used by Democrats and Republicans to further each parties’ political agendas but are not given real consideration when issues like deportation and ICE violence are never allowed on the table.

Indigo Girls Show to Benefit SONG – January 4th in ATL !

Come Celebrate 20 years of SONG and some of our favorite LYRICAL lesbian songbirds the Indigo Girls – who will be performing a benefit show in Atlanta on January 4th, 2014 !!! Click here to buy your tickets NOW!

[Little Rock, AR] Mezclador de Familia LGBTQ Inmigrante//LGBTQ Immigrant Family Mixer

SEIRN-SP flierSEIRN-EN flier

The Freedom to Stay: Remembering Marco McMillian

freedomtostay

As fellow LGBTQ Southerners working for justice, SONG feels profound sorrow for the lost life of Marco McMillian, a young leader taken before his time, and for the grief his family and friends are suffering through. We celebrate the life, courage, and commitment of a small-town man who left home to expand his education and experience–and who later returned to give back to his community. Marco McMillian was a person who developed leadership in a Black fraternity and who left his home town in order to pursue his education and learn more about politics. He came back home  to Clarksdale Mississippi to try and make positive social change in his community by running for mayor, running on a platform directly addressing problems in the community that involved police accountability and resourcing community organizations.