Stonewall Activist and Trans Matriarch Miss Major Recovering From Stroke

Miss Major Griffin-Garcy
Miss Major Griffin-Garcy
Photo: Annalise Ophelian/The MAJOR! documentary

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a rabble-rousing, bad-ass warrior woman who is ever liberal with the word “motherfucker,” and has been instrumental in demanding dignity and resources for black trans women, suffered a stroke on July 4 but is recovering in a rehab center, according to spokespersons for her Griffin-Gracy Educational Retreat & Historical Center.

Last week, the House of GG called for prayers and announced Miss Major’s condition via the organization’s Facebook page:


“WE DESPERATELY NEED YOUR PRAYERS...!!!,” the statement began. “It is with heavy hearts that I, the members of our Board, and our beloved comrade (Beck) share with you the sad news that our beloved Founder/Leader - “Miss Major” - has suffered a stroke!”

The House of GG went on to say that the 78-year-old trans matriarch had slurred speech, muscle weakness on her right side, and the inability to swallow safely.

Those prayers must have worked because, in a Saturday update, it was reported that Miss Major was “ awake—sitting up watching TV—extremely alert, and she even had french fries and a large soda on her table that she had been munching on! Wow!!! And, if all this wasn’t exciting enough...her speech was significantly improved and she was using her right hand much, much better!!! Her face looked full, straight, and clear...just like her old self!!!”


The Root reached out to the House of GG, and friend and employee Toshio Meronek confirmed that “Miss Major is stable right now and out of the ICU at UAMS [University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences]; she’ll be transferred to another hospital for physical and speech therapy this week. We’re still waiting to hear how long the recovery process will be (the average stay is 13 weeks).”

Meronek also noted that there is an ask for people to donate to Miss Major’s personal Fundly for medical and after-care.


As noted in The Root’s “Gay History Is Black History,” Miss Major has been in the game:

Miss Major is all of the following: a prison abolitionist, an AIDS activist, and a performer, all the while calling out the racism and transphobia of the gay community. She is the founder of the Griffin-Gracy Educational Retreat & Historical Center (or the House of GG), in Little Rock, Ark., the first educational and historical site solely dedicated to transgender and gender nonconforming people in the U.S. Miss Major is also the subject of the 2016 documentary, Major!, which chronicles her lifetime of right action.


Out magazine reports that she still has much to do leading the trans revolution:

In 2017, she moved from her longtime home of San Francisco to Little Rock, AK to open the House of GG, a recreational and retreat center that will prioritize trans and gender nonconforming people of color. Just last week, her team secured a location for the project.

In Out’s Pride issue, Miss Major detailed her experiences at the first night of the Stonewall Riots and her hopes moving forward for the trans community. “The future is hopefully a place where my guys, gals, and gender nonconforming people can get a chance to be who they are openly and proudly. Pride is supposed to be about everybody having a sense of self, stability, safety, the ability to grow and love, and a relative amount of security and sanity.” Many are wishing the same for her in this time.


Here’s to a speedy recovery to one of the baddest MFs who ever did it, Miss Major.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.

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