July 15, 2013

1. Sylvia Rivera

Sylvia Rivera was integral to trans civil rights, but until recently she was all but erased from history. She was a loud voice for the most marginalized: trans people of color and those with low incomes, and it’s been said that she was the first bottle-thrower at the Stonewall Rebellion. Rivera co-founded STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) in 1970 with Marsha P. Johnson, a radical group that picketed, protested, and connected queens on the street with food and shelter. She died in 2002 but lives on as the namesake of today’s vibrant Sylvia Rivera Law Project.

2. Marsha P. Johnson

Marsha P. Johnson (the P stood for “pay it no mind”) was a “drag mother” to many, and a mentor to Rivera, with whom she co-founded STAR. Like Rivera, she’s also been mentioned as a veteran of the Stonewall Riots, and she was deeply concerned with street kids. She was a model for Andy Warhol, the subject of the documentary Pay It No Mind, and the band Antony and the Johnsons is named in homage to her.

For all 24, click through to the full story!