November is Transgender Awareness Month. In observance, we are profiling influential past and present transgender and gender-expansive advocates, without whom transgender advocacy would not be where it is today.
Sylvia Rivera (1951-2002) was a trans activist. She is known for her trans advocacy within the LGBTQ+ rights movement, specifically her advocacy for trans and gender nonconforming people of color.
Artist: Kendrick Daye, collage of an image taken by Hank O’ Neal of Mother Marsha at NYC’s Pride march in 1977.
Marsha P. Johnson
Marsha P. Johnson (1945-1992) was one of the founders of Queer Liberation. Johnson is known for being a beacon of resistance and LGBTQ+ liberation, especially for Black and Brown members of the LGBTQ+ community. She fought for her community until her death in 1992. Among Johnson’s contributions to the community was participation in S.T.A.R. (Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries, formerly Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries), Gay Liberation Front, Gay Activists Alliance, ACT UP, and the Stonewall Riots.
Miss Major Griffin-Gracy (1940- ) is a community leader and activist for trans, intersex and gender-expansive individuals. Her devoted advocacy has spanned her lifetime. Major participated in the Stonewall Riots in 1969, founded several San Diego grassroots movements for trans liberation, and served in several organizations that supported the LGBTQ+ community through the AIDS crisis. Miss Major also served as the executive director of the TGI Justice Project, an organization committed to supporting incarcerated and formerly incarcerated trans, intersex and gender-expansive community members. The Project also resists human rights abuses, imprisonment, police violence, racism, poverty, and societal pressures.
LGBTQ+ folks are at a higher risk for mental health disparities than that of their non-LGBTQ+ peers. This is in large part due to the stigma and discrimination surrounding the LGBTQ+ community that result in bullying, isolation, and even violence.
At North Range Behavioral Health, we know that encouraging and supporting a person to live authentically is essential to mental wellness. Because of this, North Range is committed to creating safe and supportive spaces for all, where the authentic self can be heard, seen, and valued.
This blog and is published with permission from Envision:You, a Colorado LGBTQ+ mental health and substance use disorder initiative that aims to support, educate, and empower members of the state’s LGBTQ community who are living with mental health and/or substance use disorders. Visit Envision:You and check out more resources for the LGBTQ+ community and allies.