Sylvia Rivera (1951-2002)
Co-Founder of Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR)
Member of the Gay Liberation Front and Gay Activists Alliance

(Photo courtesy of Legacy Project) #LGBTVoices
Sylvia Rivera was an American gay & transgender activist. Of Puerto Rican & Venezuelan descent, she was born/raised in New York City. Homeless at 11, Sylvia earned her pedigree on NYC streets as a drag queen and sex worker.
Photo Credit: Kay Lahusen #LGBTVoices
She fought for Civil Rights, against Vietnam War and for Women's Rights. At Stonewall, she was one of our voices. Admittedly, I'd not heard of Sylvia when I drew her name for our #LGBTVoices project.
Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Justin Sutcliffe)
But reading about her thru google search, I found outspoken vigor that deserves to be honored. Sylvia spent most of her life fighting for human rights. It didn't matter whether it was for women, men, civil, gay. She fought FOR HUMAN RIGHTS. #LGBTVoices
She was a protector of youth, homeless, trans, people of color. Intersectional is used a lot in explaining social injustice. Sylvia could have given a lecture on the multi-faceted centralized discrimination she was present for & fought against. #LGBTVoices
Sylvia spent a large portion of her life being marginalized by society but she didn't let it stop her. She didn't do it to be remembered. She didn't do it for glory. She did it because she believed in the idea that EVERYONE deserved equality. #LGBTVoices
Photo Credit: Luis Carle
Sylvia is of Puerto Rican descent but isn't someone you learn about in any history class taught in PR or in ANY US history course I took. If I could go back in time, I'd meet her and say THANK YOU.


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More from @MsWitsEnd

Jun 17, 2018
Leonard P. Matlovich (1943-1988)
Vietnam War Veteran, Purple Heart & Bronze Star recipient
Civil Rights Activist
"Maybe not in my lifetime, but we are going to win in the end."
(Photo cred: Ted Sahl)
If you are LGBTQ in the military, thank US Air Force Technical Sergeant Leonard P. Matlovich for the gigantic 1st step.
In March 1975, Matlovich gave his commanding officers a letter outing himself as a homosexual.
Photo Cred: Leonard Matlovich Papers
He did this to challenge the military ban on gays. He didn't shy away from a battle - not in Vietnam where he earned the Purple Heart and not for equality. He graced the cover of Time Magazine in uniform. He became a symbol.
Photo Cred: Ted Thai
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