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Transgender Rights Bill Hits New York City

Transgender Wars

Complete New York City coverage.

Sylvia Rivera: Our New York Hero

FEBRUARY 21, 2002. Sylvia Rivera, who as a 17-year-old Puerto Rican drag queen from the Bronx helped lead the 1969 Stonewall Riots that triggered the modern gay liberation movement, died in New York Tuesday morning. She was 50.

A mainstay of transgender activism, founding and resurrecting the Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries, she also coordinated the food pantry for a local gay church with her partner, Julia Murray.

A radical, big-hearted queer activist all her life, even while trying to survive addiction, hustling, and homelessness, Rivera was often shunned or just selectively (and symbolically) embraced by mainstream gay advocates who favored a more "straight-looking" image for the liberation movement that she had helped start.

Next Tuesday evening, her ashes will be scattered at the site of the Stonewall Inn, in New York's West Village, where it all started on a hot and muggy night, thirty-three years ago.

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gay pride The Gully's ultragay coverage. Includes musings on activism, info on queers from Puerto Rico to Taiwan and more.

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