Things That Matter

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

‘Fuller House’ Actor And Certified Daddy Juan Pablo Di Pace Comes Out And Yasss

Culture

‘Fuller House’ Actor And Certified Daddy Juan Pablo Di Pace Comes Out And Yasss

juanpablodipace / Instagram

Argentinian actor Juan Pablo Di Pace recently came out in a TEDx video recorded in March. The video was released in late June giving Di Pace’s coming out story a special place in the 2019 Pride Month calendar. Social media erupted in applause and praise for the actor living his truth after so much time hiding in the closet.

Juan Pablo Di Pace came out of the closet as a gay man and is already living it up.

That’s right. Di Pace was living it up in Madrid during pride not long after the video of his talk coming out of the closet was publish. Honestly, it is something everyone should be celebrating. Someone being able to live their life fully is something that some people will never be able to understand. There is an attitude of in the Latino community that tries to shun and silence the LGBTQ+ community. Seeing a prominent member of the Latino community sharing his coming out story is such a positive example for younger people struggling to come out.

Di Pace’s coming out via a TEDx is one of the greatest moments of Pride Month 2019.

Not only did Di Pace come out of the closet, but his story about coming out and learning who he is is also very relatable to most members of the LGBTQ+ community. It wasn’t like he figured out that he was different. It had to be told to him.

“My mother says that I came out of her womb with a paper and pencil in my hand and that I used to draw until I fell asleep, which is why I had very few friends. But, actually, the truth is that, unlike most of the boys in my class, I preferred to play with girls. I was more comfortable. They were more fun,” Di Pace told the audience at his TEDx talk. “So, I didn’t think anything of it, right? Until I heard a word that I had never heard before. It started like a thunder that got closer and louder to me as it exploded like egg in my face: marícon, faggot. Well, I didn’t really understand that word at first but the word was here to stay for years. A little know book, as you might know as the Bible, starts with, ‘In the beginning, was the word and the word was made flesh and it dwelt among us.’ So, after failed attempts to fight against this word and try to make friends, my only option was to make friends with white sheets of paper. Paper would not shout or kick me. Paper was kind and on paper everything and anything was possible, just like in the movies.”

The moment of being made to feel and know that you are different from everyone else is something most people deal with at the beginning of coming out. It is a harsh, and some times dangerous, moment that starts the process of coming out and learning who you are as a person.

Fans of the actor showered him with praise and love for coming out.

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Coming out, no matter how old you are or how successful you are, is a terrifying experience. You have to be prepared for people to shun you. You need to be ready for people to speak down to you. It is not an easy or fun process for a lot of people.

The emotional reception to Di Pace’s coming is filled with love and appreciation.

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This is something the Di Pace should be so proud of. It is so important for people to come out of the closet. By coming out of the closet, you force others around you to confront their own ideas of the LGBTQ+ community. When people know someone personally who is LGBTQ+, they tend to become more accepting of the community allowing for more people to come out in a safer environment.

You are with your chosen family now, Juan.

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All people in the LGBTQ+ community understand the importance of a chosen family. Even if your family accepts you, it is important to have a chosen family. It is a way to learn what it means to be gay and how to live life open in a world that can sometimes be really cruel. Your family will want to help but it is hard for your mom and dad to teach about LGBTQ+ culture.

Congratulations on coming out Juan. Sending lots of love.

READ: Grab The Tissues! These Latinas Told Us Their Coming Out Stories And We Have Been Sobbing In Pride

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

Things That Matter

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

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a champion of the people and the biggest villain according to Republicans. Whenever AOC does anything, conservatives have a lot to say about it. AOC’s latest outing to a drag club in New York City is the latest moment of celebration.

Alexandria Oscasio-Cortez proves that Pride is not just one month but all year long.

“You are special. You are beautiful. You are accepted and let’s give a big round of applause for our artist,” AOC tells the crowd as they go wild for her.

All the performers who had a chance took their photo with the most recognizable Congresswoman currently serving.

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“Activist & politician @ocasio2018 was @bartschlandfolliestonight & we all couldn’t have been more thrilled! I felt ultra #patriotic performing my #patriotact for this special audience that was chanting her initials,” Dirty Martini wrote on Instagram. “Fight that good fight for what this country deep down is really about- equality, liberty & peace! ❤️🇺🇸❤️🇺🇸❤️🇺🇸”

The drag queens and kings could feel themselves becoming more and more patriotic.

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“Equality and social justice for all with a dash of showgirl❤️
AOC @ocasio2018 in the house at the @bartschlandfollies last night! I admittedly was majorly fan girling!!!! One of the most present and beautiful audiences I’ve experienced to date, they were screaming her initials as she cheered us on front and center all night, even telling us all how much we were loved and welcome and accepted when Joey arias invited her on stage,” Marcy Richardson wrote on Instagram. “And I just thought, man, what a reason to actually feel patriotic this weekend. She’s not afraid to be here with us. ALL of us. You give us all hope❤️❤️
#alexandriaocasiocortez #bartschland #bartschlandfollies #aoc #mckittrickhotel #happyfourth

It’s fair to say that AOC had a great time with the performers and her allyship with the LGBTQ+ community is unquestionable.

Credit: murrayhill / Instagram

“The inspiring and formidable @ocasio2018 attended the @bartschland Follies show @themckittrick last night in NYC. She brought hope to the room and showed us 🇺🇸 future! Her choice words, ‘Be who you are. You are beautiful. You are accepted.’ 🏳️‍🌈,” Murray Hill wrote on Instagram. “In this pix, I’m saying, ‘I’m standing next to a future president!’ The 2nd pix, I’m thanking her for her work, speaking out, and fighting the good fight. #aoc #4thofjuly #resist #showbiz

AOC’s actions since taking office show that she is an unapologetic LGBTQ+ rights activist.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

The Congresswoman from New York was there for Queens Pride despite a cold that she was battling. She explained that she just couldn’t let her exquisite crushed velvet suit hide during the pride celebrations.

She is here to support the LGBTQ+ community no matter what she is doing, like just attending pride.

Credit: @kalpenn / Twitter

Honestly, just look at how excited she is to be out and about among the LGBTQ+ community at Pride. AOC has set herself apart from other members of Congress with her unapologetic fight for the LGBTQ+ community.

She even made an impassioned speech for LGBTQ+ rights in a post-marriage equality world that has energized the community.

AOC is fighting a fight so many don’t realize needs to be fought. The fight to make PrEP free to the public is one that more people need to get behind. The U.S. taxpayers paid for the research that created Truvada, a daily pill with a 99 percent success rate in preventing the transmission of HIV. Gilead, the pharmaceutical company selling Truvada is selling it back to the people who funded the research at $2,000 a month because of a patent. The price point is forcing many people vulnerable to the disease unprotected and risking lives needlessly.

Oh, and she is a major “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fan so we hope to see her at more drag shows in the future.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

Thank you for standing up for our community, AOC.

READ: Pabllo Vittar Is The Superstar Brazilian Drag Queen The World Has Come To Love Because Of Their Unapologetic Persona

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