Celebrating Trans Activist Sylvia Rivera

Celebrating Trans Activist Sylvia Rivera

We're talking about women that paved the way.


One incredibly strong and dedicated woman in history is Sylvia Rivera. On the off chance that your history classes taught you about the 1969 Stonewall Riots, her name was most likely overlooked. Even in the 2015 flop, "Stonewall," her character was (not shockingly) pretty much erased, replaced with a white gay male lead, a true Hollywood surprise.

Sylvia Rivera was a Puerto Rican transwoman from the Bronx – a leader of the queer community in the 70s.

At the time of the outbreak of the Stonewall Riots, she was a 17-year-old self-identified, a member of the Gay Activist Alliance (GAA), and a drag queen, who stood at the forefront of the protests, alongside the wonderful Marsha P. Johnson.

She fought hard for not just the “gay” community, but also the queer, trans, people of color, who she identified with. In time, the GAA eventually cut out the trans and drag interest from their agenda to appeal to a wider audience, so she went on her own to work on her spectrum of movement. She has worked on several projects within her community, such as establishing and working for the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, a group who supports the queer and the especially poor youth of color, living in urban areas. Rivera was an activist up until her death in 2002.

Despite being discriminated against and marginalized even among her supposed own community, Sylvia Rivera, who came from the Bronx, fought for the children of her demographic and for anyone who experienced what she had, being a poor, queer, person of color.

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