Sylvia Rivera is a name synonymous with the twentieth-century reformation of laws and attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community. The outspoken Sylvia Rivera helped co-found S.T.A.R alongside fellow activist and “Stonewall Uprising” veteran Marsha P. Johnson. The firebrand had a troubled youth. Rivera fled her grandmother’s home after being orphaned and found herself homeless as a result. It was at this point she found sanctuary within the wing of the drag queen community.
Rivera became a prominent activist at the age of eighteen and helped pave the way for homeless LGBTQ+ youth to find safe accommodation.
The massively famous actor Elliot Page, formerly knowns as Ellen Page, broke the internet with his second coming out statement. He now joins the ranks of his fellow trans peers. As a trailblazer in the LGBTQ+ world, Page first came out as gay in 2014 before coming forward as a masculine-identifying transperson.
Page expressed immense gratitude in his statement, expressing how happy he is to be a part of a world where he feels accepted. The actor has an enormous resume, of course, with an Oscar nomination for the film "Juno." Going through his transition in between two seasons of the hit Netflix show "The Umbrella Academy," the transition had to be written into the series.
Stormé DeLarverie holds the honorific title of “the Rosa Parks of the Gay community.” She is widely recognized as the spark of the “Stonewall Uprising” flame after it was reported that she was the first to be arrested, an arrest which she resisted, that fateful evening at Stonewall nightclub.
The events of Stonewall reinforced DeLarverie’s role in the fight for civil rights in the LGBTQ+ movement, featuring prominently in the streets of New York as an armed protector and guardian of its lesbian denizens.
Sally Ride’s meteoric rise as an astronaut made history. Her titles of firsts are admirable: the first female astronaut, the first woman in space, and the first woman to be an operator of a space shuttle. Sally Ride did not publicize her long-term relationship with girlfriend Tam O’Shaughnessy, and her identity as a gay woman was only known when her obituary mentioned O’Shaughnessy.
O’Shaughnessy honored her lifelong partner by helping to co-found the “Sally Ride Science” organization. The organization helps young women of all backgrounds achieve their academic goals in the STEM field.
Jackie Shane had an invincible spirit. The transgender singer was a trailblazer for LGBTQIA+ folk in the entertainment industry. Shane was born in Tennessee during a period in history when homophobia and racism were rampant and acceptable in society.
When the rhythm and blues singer was asked how she defined her sexuality, she famously replied, “I never tried to explain myself to anyone — they never explained themselves to me.” The American singer moved to Toronto to escape these two social ills and soon became the darling of the music industry there, chalking up the number two spot on the billboard top 100.