FROM STONEWALL, 1969 — TO THE UNITED NATIONS, 2013
What do you get when you combine courage, tenacity, and an infallible determination to overcome adversity and hate based on discrimination? Rising above the ashes of fiery destruction to become a fearless American Icon in Human Rights—while following her dream of equality around the world—you get STONEWALL VETERAN ERICA KAY-WEBSTER and her autobiography “Absence of Justice: The Erica Kay Story.”
Erica Kay-Webster is one of the earliest Transgenders in the United States to undergo gender reassignment surgery in 1968 with Dr. Harry Benjamin and Dr. Benito Rish at Yonkers Professional Hospital in New York. She is probably the youngest transgender to transition at age 17. She is the survivor of two suicide attempts prior to her surgery.
Erica is a veteran and survivor of The Stonewall Rebellion in New York City in 1969, which was the beginning of the LGBT Civil Rights Movement. She was present at the Stonewall Inn when police raided it; she was handcuffed, placed in a paddy wagon, and thrown in jail.
Erica is an Author, a Human Rights Activist, an acclaimed Public Speaker, and the Creator of The Foundation For International Justice. She and her husband David Webster are Board members of PFLAG of Cape Cod and members of The Cape and Islands Democratic Council, the LGBT Aging Project, and the Safe Homes for LGBT Youth project. It is Erica’s goal to create safe, loving foster homes for our homeless youth. Before Stonewall Erica was one of those homeless youths and her memories of those days of hopelessness and hunger continually motivate her to assist our youth today.
Her autobiography “Absence of Justice: The Erica Kay Story” is planned for publication in 2014. A movie screenplay for a feature film is also underway.
After her surgery in 1968 Erica kept her transgender status private. For several years she enjoyed a successful career in modeling, acting, and dancing. Next, she became the Top Sales Person and Sales Manager for Thousand Trails, a national family camping resort ownership company.
In 1991-93 Erica studied interior design at The American College of Applied Arts in Atlanta. She designed the world renowned Trinity Art Gallery, which continues today as The Alan Avery Art Company. Erica went on to establish a successful interior design business.
In 1997 national and international tabloids published stories that outed Erica as a transgender female and destroyed her life. Intending to block a legal civil divorce, the State of Georgia chose to prosecute her so that she would not be entitled to community property. As a result in 1998 she was imprisoned for 4 years for possessing a family automobile, simply because the State of Georgia invalidated her marriage to her Georgia husband as a same-sex marriage.
While in prison Erica studied the law and represented herself by filing her own writ of Habeas Corpus. Georgia prison administrators attempted to block her access to the legal system, and in 2000 she filed a Civil Rights Lawsuit based on sexual discrimination against herself—a transgender female. She successfully navigated her way through the legal system and won a victory in the Georgia State Supreme Court. The State of Georgia then wiped her record clean.
In 2007 the tabloids resurfaced and Erica was targeted as a business owner in Panama City, Florida. On the basis of witnesses who committed perjury, she was falsely accused and then falsely convicted in 2009. On November 22, 2010 her conviction was overturned on appeal. Erica is currently pursuing a lawsuit in Federal Court in Florida, based on Gender discrimination against a transgender female.
Erica is the media spokesperson for the Fearless Project, which is part of the LGBT Compassion Games and the Colors of Compassion Project. COLORS of Compassion is a creative public arts exhibition of Tibetan-style and Bhutanese-style prayer flags, along with collaborative online video and social media, documenting the power and impact the Rainbow Flag continues to have in the lives of people and their communities around the world.
Erica was asked to create the first of the prayer flags. She and her husband David will be in Louisville, Kentucky on May 19, 2013 for the presentation of the prayer flags to His Holiness The Dalai Lama. While there Erica will also speak to the Louisville Youth Group.
Erica and David will carry Bhutanese-style prayer flags in the New York City Pride Parade on June 30, 2013. They will ride with several other Stonewall Veterans on the leading Stonewall Veterans Float, which is donated each year by the New York City Police Department.
On September 11, 2013 Erica will lead a march from Ground Zero in New York City to The United Nations for a presentation of Bhutanese-style Prayer Flags to members of the United Nations, in honor of the UN Resolution on Happiness, and to remind them of the constant struggle for equal human rights around the world.
Erica Kay-Webster lives on Cape Cod with her husband David Webster.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkin.com/pub/ericakay/28/980/b18