Sylvia Rivera (with Christina Hayworth and Julia Murray)
A forerunner in the fight against gender identity discrimination, Sylvia Rivera worked the dicey Times Square district as a trans woman sex worker after she was cast out by family as a teenager. She was there in 1969 at the turning point of the modern LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) struggle for equal rights, when patrons of the Stonewall Inn violently rebuffed a police raid. Politicized by this experience, Rivera campaigned with the Gay Activist Alliance (GAA) in urging the city to enact a nondiscrimination ordinance. However, facing racism and discrimination as a Latina transgender by the mainly white male GAA leadership, she began to work with homeless teenagers, co-founding the militant group and shelter STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries). In the 1990s Rivera was embraced as one of the fundamental figures of the LGBT movement. This portrait shows her flanked by her partner Julia Murray (right) and activist Christina Hayworth at the Saturday Rally before New York’s Gay Pride Parade in 2000.