Filtering by Tag: LGBTQ

New York City Monument Will Honor Trans Activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera


By: Meilan Solly

A new monument will commemorate Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, trans activists, drag performers and close friends who played central roles in the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. The statue—one of six commissioned by public arts campaign She Built NYC for its first wave of women-centric installations—will be the “first permanent, public artwork recognizing transgender women in the world,” according to the City of New York.

Johnson and Rivera were prominent figures in the gay liberation movement and the Greenwich Village scene. Tireless advocates for homeless LGBTQ youth, those affected by H.I.V. and AIDS, and other marginalized groups, the pair were involved in the early days of the Gay Liberation Front, a radical organization that peaked in the immediate aftermath of Stonewall, and the Gay Activists Alliance, a more moderate and narrowly focused spin-off group. In 1970, Rivera and Johnson launched Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), an organization dedicated to sheltering young transgender individuals who were shunned by their families.

According to some accounts of the Stonewall Uprising, Johnson and Rivera were among the first to physically resist a police raid on the bar.

Read more:
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12!
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

Read more:

Meet Young M.A: The Afro-Latina She-Rapper Blowing Minds Nationwide

Credit: BE Latina

Credit: BE Latina

Brooklyn native Katorah Kasanova Marrero, better known by her stage name Young M.A, has made her own way as an openly-gay, half-Boricua, half-Jamaican rapper by embracing everything about herself that she brings to the table as a force of creativity, identity, and fire. The M.A in her stage name stands for “Me Always,” affirming her commitment to realness in an era when it’s easy to get caught up in the glitz, glam, and pressures of the entertainment industry.

She was only 24 when her breakout hit “OOOUUU” became the only song by a solo female rapper to reach the Billboard top 10 R&B/Hip Hop chart in all of 2016

Read More: