STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) was a multiracial trans liberation group organized in 1970 by Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson within the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) of New York. Street transvestites, as the founders referred to themselves, helped create the gay liberation movement, attending GLF meetings, marching, and finding common cause with Gay Youth led by activist Mark Segal. They fought on behalf of those rendered vulnerable due to trans identity, youth, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and poverty. STAR also established a shelter for gender-variant youth who often found themselves homeless or otherwise without support.

STAR’s militant outlook was shaped by childhood motifs of community, family, and identity. Rivera, then 12, met Johnson, then 17, panhandling on Manhattan’s 42nd Street. In flophouses, high or sober, street ...

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