Various buttons and pins, various dates. Courtesy of The LGBT Community Center National History Archives.
Y’ALL BETTER QUIET DOWN
Jun 06 - Jul 21, 2019
Y’all Better Quiet Down takes its title from a 1973 speech made by trans activist Sylvia Rivera at the Christopher Street Liberation Day Rally in Washington Sq. Park. Responding to an anti-trans statement by lesbian feminist Jean O’Leary, Rivera tells the crowd she’s been beaten and thrown in jail for gay liberation. Amidst a chorus of boos, she implores her “gay brothers and gay sisters” to understand gay liberation as an intersectional struggle for racial justice, gender self-determination, prison abolition, and housing, employment, and economic equality.
On the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, Y’all Better Quiet Down recalls Rivera’s impassioned demand to show up and commit to the collective struggle. What showing up looks like takes many forms — rage, protest, care, community and introspection. This exhibition presents contemporary works, protest banners, archival ephemera, and stories from the New York City Trans Oral History Project, Y’all Better Quiet Down centers the everyday and enduring legacies of liberation movements.
Artists include Brogan Bertie, Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, Luis Carle, Sebastián Castro Niculescu, LJ Roberts, Tourmaline & Sasha Wortzel, Tuesday Smillie, and Chris Vargas; and ephemera from The LGBT Community Center National History Archive, Leslie-Lohman Museum Collection, WRRQ Collective, and the NYC Trans Oral History Project.
Y’all Better Quiet Down will be presented at the Leslie-Lohman Museum’s Living Room Gallery from June 6 -July 21, and the Bureau of General Services Queer Division at the LGBT Center from June 14-September 8.