Inspirational LGBTQ rights activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera will be immortalized in a public monument in New York City, officials announced Thursday.
Johnson and Rivera, lauded as influential figures in the uprising, were on the front lines of the Gay Liberation Front, as the New York Public Library notes. They notably co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) in 1970 to provide support and shelter for marginalized transgender people. (The term transgender was not widely used at the time.)
As black and Latinx activists, Johnson’s and Rivera’s legacies of fighting for the rights of marginalized communities of color, the LGBTQ community, gender nonconforming people, drag queens and people living with HIV, have been recognized throughout the years.
“Today is a wonderful opportunity to recognize these two amazing pillars of our history,” transgender rights activist Cecilia Gentili said during the announcement of the monument. “But the most important part of all of this is that people like me, and people like everybody here that identifies as trans, are going to be able to see themselves reflected in this important point of the city.”
Rivera died in 2002 at age 50. Johnson died in 1992 at age 46 under mysterious circumstances.
Many people celebrated the news of the planned monument honoring Rivera and Johnson on Twitter.