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Women’s History Month: Marsha P. Johnson & Sylvia Rivera

Many people will not recognize the names Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Some people will not recognize these trans-women as women. However, if you are in the small percentage of people that recognize these names let me explain why. Recently, Johnson and Rivera were mentioned when Hollywood decided to whitewash their interpretation of Stonewall. Historically the Stonewall riots were credit to gay white men and did not credit the people of color, trans people, or lesbians who helped the efforts. The Stonewall riots were a response to the police and the unfair treatment the LGBT community received from the force sworn to protect them. Behind this massive event were yours truly Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson. Much like the movie their contributions to the riots were overlooked throughout history. Rivera and Johnson are credited for sparking the event by the throwing the first items. 

(Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition)

Rivera was a Puerto Rican transgender drag queen. During her life, Rivera became an activist who spoke out against racism, transphobia, and sexual violence. She was a founding member of the Hay Activists Alliance and Gay Liberaton Front.


Johnson is credited for really starting the riot that lead to the Gay Revolution. She is known as an activist for transgender issues and gay rights. She was an activist in the fight against AIDS during the AIDS epidemic.


Johnson and Rivera founded STAR: Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries in 1970. The group was a transgender rights organization which also provided shelter for homeless trans teenagers. 



Toni Miles is a Mass Media Major with aspirations of writing, producing her own documentaries, and directing short films in the future. 
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