Things That Matter

New York City Is Finally Dedicating A Memorial To The Two Trans Women Of Color Who Started The Gay Liberation Movement

Transgender activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera were the first to riot against a police raid at the hallmark birthplace of the LGBT movement: Stonewall Inn. The two trans women of color were frustrated with the consistent raids on gay bars in the city and rioted when police raided Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969. New York City is paying tribute to these women who risked their lives and then devoted themselves to helping homeless LGBTQ+ youth by installing a monument in their honor.

A monument honoring Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson will be installed just a block from Stonewall Inn.

@mondokoosh / Twitter

On June 28, 1969, the LGBTQ+ community congregated in a quasi-safe space–Stonewall Inn–during a time when LGBTQ+ people gathering was illegal. Police raids were common, and you only had to appear to present outside gender norms to be arrested and put in jail for the night.

When police raided Stonewall Inn, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera rioted throwing bricks at police trying to arrest people.

@ajplus / Twitter

Witness accounts place Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera as the first to literally throw bricks at the police officers. The act of defiance sparked a riot that swelled during the night. The Gay Liberation Movement was born from the courage of these two women.

Until her death at 50, Rivera was still living on the streets.

@outmagazine / Twitter

This month, Rivera is gracing the cover of Out magazine. She died of complications from liver cancer when she was just 50 years old and was still living on the streets. In fact, she made it a point to sleep just blocks away from the then Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center.

She protested the exclusivity of the LGBTQ+ movement for transgender people until she died.

@them / Twitter

Rivera and Johnson formed STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) and opened a shelter for homeless transgender youth–a population being ignored by ‘leaders’ in the LGBTQ+ movement.

Rivera is famously quoted as saying: “You tell me to go and hide my tail between my legs. I will no longer put up with this shit. I have been beaten. I have been raped. I have had my nose broken. I have lost my job. I have lost my apartment for gay liberation. And you all treat me this way? What the fuck’s wrong with you?”

New Yorkers are feeling proud to house such an important monument for civil rights.

@lisekimhorton / Twitter

Rivera’s determination to fight for LGBTQ+ rights is something queer Latinos remember to this day. She was the first of our community to help lead a global movement for civil rights that has given LGBTQ+ people the right to live in peace protected from government-sanctioned discrimination.

Some folks think the money should go toward her dying mission: safe housing for trans children.

@cmmnst_fr_ses / Twitter

Rivera met her best friend for life Johnson while they were sex workers on the street. Johnson took Rivera under her wing and taught her how to wear makeup and attract clients.

Other grateful descendants of Rivera’s mission think NY should decriminalize sex work in her honor instead.

@_AshLake_ / Twitter

At the time, there was no other viable option to survive for trans people other than to perform sex work. That means because of the discrimination against their gender, they were forced into making a living doing illegal jobs. Many sex worker rights activists believe the laws themselves are discriminatory since minorities are often forced into sex work to begin with.

Some people are upset that trans women of color are getting recognition.

@velociraptom / Twitter

It is because of the work of these women that LGBTQ+ people have the right to marry, buy houses, and live life protected from discrimination in some parts of the world. There is still a long way to go for global rights for the LGBTQ+ community, but River and Johnson started it all.

This monument represents decades of work that went ignored by most of the LGBT community and world at large.

@TDPandGT / Twitter

They are the gatekeepers and pioneers of the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, Rivera was once called the “Rosa Parks of the Modern Transgender Movement,” after she was arrested for trying to climb into a window (in a dress and heels) to be part of the New York City Council’s conversation around a gay rights bill.

Seeing prominent Congress members and other high-profile people honor their names is something that we wouldn’t have seen just 10 years ago.

@ilhanMN / Twitter

STAR House went under because of the utter lack of support from the gay community, which forced Rivera herself back onto the streets. She and Johnson were roommates until Johnson died in 1992, which forced her back onto the streets.

The best way to combat transphobia is to make room for trans voices.

@phillyhomo / Twitter

Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson began a movement that the entire LGBTQ+ community benefits from–white men and majority identifiers the most. They never stopped trying to create space for trans people to have choices that didn’t include sex work or prison. Their legacy lives on in how we honor them and their mission. Pa’lante.

READ: The Stonewall Inn Is The First LGBTQ National Monument And This Is Why It Matters To Latinos

Dwayne Wayde Talks About Supporting Trans Daughter


Dwayne Wayde Talks About Supporting Trans Daughter

gabunion/ Instagram

Former NBA baller Dwayne Wayde just made a major score in our book.

The father of four and husband to actress Gabrielle Union has gained quite a bit of clout as a Five Star dad thanks to his parenting know-how. In particular, the basketball phenom has in recent years gained attention for his support of his 12-year-old daughter Zaya on social media, particularly when she began to display hints of being part of the LGBTQ community.

Recently, Wayde opened up about his process of understanding his daughter’s gender identity.

Speaking with Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America,” Wayde confirmed that she is trans. “This is her life every day. This is no game to us,” Wayde told Roberts on Tuesday. “We’re all about protecting her heart, we’re about protecting her joy and to do that, we have to support her.”

According to Wayde, Zaya– who has been aware of her gender identity since she was 3– gave her father permission to share her story on the show.

“‘I don’t think I’m gay,'” Wayde recalled his daughter saying in a conversation when she was younger. “‘This is how I identify myself. This is my gender identity. I identify as a young lady. I think I’m a straight trans (girl) because I like boys.'”

According to Wayde, he knew early on that to properly support his daughter he’d have to evaluate himself.

Admitting that he himself had never known or been aware of someone who had come out as a member of the LGBTQ community, Wayde decided to sit down with Union and research as much as they could. They even reached out to members of the LGBTQ community to better understand how to support Zaya. On her own, Union reached out to members of the FX show “Pose” for help. 

“I’ve been a person in a locker room that has been a part of the conversation that has said the wrong phrases and the wrong words myself,” Wayde admitted during his interview. “And as I got older and as I watched my daughter grow, I had to go and look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘Who are you? What are you going to do if your child comes home and says, “Dad, I’m not a boy … I’m a trans girl.” What are you going to do?’ That was my moment of real.”

Speaking about Zaya, Wayde said that he feels it is his responsibility to help support others in the LGBTQ community.

“We know there’s other families out there dealing with their kid finding themselves and learning who they are,” Wayde explained. “I’m not going to sit here and act like we have all the answers. I’m not going to sit here and act like before our child came home and sat us down, that we weren’t ignorant parents when it comes to the world. When I say we’re learning from our 12-year-old, we’re literally learning from our child.” 

Watch the full interview here.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Going To Be A Guest Judge On The New Season Of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Going To Be A Guest Judge On The New Season Of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

@RuPaulsDragRace / Twitter / rupaulofficial / Instagram

The new season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” will be here before you know it and finally know who the guest judges will be this year. RuPaul has a knack for bringing some of the best guest judges to the show. We finally know the new list of guest judges and one of them is none other than “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fan Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The new season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is premiering on Feb. 28 and we finally know the guest judges.

We can also expect to see Chaka Khan, Daisy Ridley, Daniel Franzese, Jeff Goldblum, Jonathan Bennett, Leslie Jones, Nicki Minaj, Normani Kordei, Olivia Munn, Rachel Bloom, Robyn, Thandie Newton, Whoopi Goldberg, and Winnie Harlow to take their place at the judge’s table.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” fan AOC is obviously thrilled to be on the show.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” has been around for 12 seasons and the popularity of the show has never been higher. Drag has taken over mainstream pop culture and the excitement of AOC and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fans is proof of the show’s power.

This isn’t the first time a member of the United States’ Congress appeared on the drag competition show.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi joined RuPaul in the workroom on All-Stars Season 3. Trixie Mattel went on to win that season but Pelosi’s visit to the workroom left the queens and audience members gagging. Pelosi, who was the Democratic leader of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, shared her message about the importance of voting.

It’s a fitting time for AOC to be included as a guest judge on the show.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

One year before AOC was sworn in as a member of Congress, she was celebrating Pelosi’s appearance. The then-candidate for Congress even offered to host a viewing party of an episode of All-Stars Season 3.

Wigs are still missing after the news broke on Twitter.

Credit: @gaywonk / Twitter

It was just a little unexpected. It is also so exciting to see politicians participating as guest judges on a drag competition show. It is more than just someone judging drag queens, it means more. It represents progress within our society that has created a safer and more accepting world for members of the LGBTQ+ community.

The season hasn’t even aired and there are already stans.

That’s the power of politics + drag. Drag is inherently political. Drag queen culture is a counter-culture that has pushed the envelope for the LGBTQ+ community. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is expanding that tradition and responsibility and bringing drag into homes all over the world normalizing LGBTQ+ and drag culture.

Way to go, AOC.

Credit: @BocaOrganics / Twitter

Everyone who judges on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” brings the looks. AOC is no exception and her look is giving us every emotion. Get it, AOC.

READ: AOC Went To A Drag Show And It Is The Most Beautiful Moment Captured On Social Media