October is LGBTQ+ History Month!
For the next few weeks, media outlets will highlight queer and trans people who have helped make the world a better place, with Latinx folks sidelined.
But not here! Ahead, LGBTQ+ Latinxs who have made significant strides.
1. Sylvia Rivera
A trans woman of Puerto Rican and Venezuelan descent, Rivera was at the forefront of the Gay Liberation Movement of the '60s and '70s. She played a prominent role in the legendary Stonewall Riots in 1969, when the LGBTQ+ community came up against the police officer who unjustly invaded queer spaces in New York City. She was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance. She also co-founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries with Marsha P. Johnson, a group dedicated to helping homeless young drag queens and trans women of color.
2. Raffi Freedman-Gurspan
Freedman-Gurspan is the first openly trans member of staff at the White House and the first openly transgender legislative staffer to work in the Massachusetts house of representatives. A proud hondureña, she was hired by President Barack Obama in 2015 to serve as the outreach and recruitment director for presidential personnel. In 2016, Obama appointed her as the White House primary LGBTQ+ liaison, where she is also the first transgender person in the role.
3. Gloria Anzaldua
Anzaldúa made history with her scholarly writings in feminism, queerness and Chicana cultural theories. She is best known for the book that she co-edited, "This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color." Another one of her biggest contributions was introducing borderland identities into academia.
4. Jose Sarria
Jose Sarria, Her Royal Majesty, San Francisco, 1981. Another amazing character I get to recreate for "When We Rise." Jose Sarria acted as a much-needed mother figure to many of the young LGBT runaways arriving in San Fran. #herroyalmajesty #castrostreet #vintagesanfrancisco #josesarria #drag #lgbthistory #lgbtpride #whenwerise #sanfrancisco #sanfranciscohistory
While many people credit Harvey Milk with this accomplishment, Sarria was the first openly gay candidate to run for office in the United States. He also performed as a drag queen at the Black Cat in San Francisco and co-founded several gay organizations, such as League for Civil Education, the Tavern Guild and the Society for Individual Rights.
5. Ruby Corado
Corrado is the founder of Casa Ruby, the first and only bilingual multicultural safe space for LGBTQ individuals in Washington, D.C.. The nonprofit offers hot meals, clothing exchanges, support groups, housing referrals and legal counseling. The trans salvadoreña also helped create other organizations. such as the D.C. Trans Coalition and Latin@s en Accion.