Psst, wanna know who Sylvia is?
Transgender activist and civil rights pioneer Sylvia Rae Rivera was on the front lines of the Stonewall riots in New York City in 1969, which many credit with sparking the modern LGBTQ rights movement.
When police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar, during the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, Rivera and other Stonewall regulars fought back, triggering a series of protests that extended over several days. By taking a stand against what had been systematic, institutionalized harassment and arrests, Rivera’s actions at Stonewall played an important part in mobilizing and uniting the gay community in New York, according to an NBC News profile.
Rivera further participated in the struggle for gay rights with the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA), though she later parted ways with the organization when they abandoned agenda items that protected transgender people. She continued to work to promote rights and visibility for gender nonconforming people, especially those in the community who were young or at risk.
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