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Rivera, Sylvia

Sylvia Rivera is considered the mother of the trans rights movement. She was known for cofounding Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) in 1970, a New York City organization that also formed STAR House for homeless youth. Throughout her life, Rivera was an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights. Using she/her pronouns, Rivera’s primary identifications over time were drag queen, transvestite, and transgender person of color; her sexual orientation was to men and trans women.

Early Life

Rivera was born (July 2, 1951) in the Bronx, of Puerto Rican and Venezuelan descent, and was named Rey; Sylvia Lee was the name given to her by the transvestite community. Her mother died by suicide when she was 3, her father was not involved, and she was raised by her ...

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