New York to honour Transgender Bi Pioneers

USA

The City council in New York has announced plans to memorialise Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.

The authority has declared an intention to correct the gender imbalance of statues in public places remembering contributions to the life of the city and nation.

The monument, set for the Ruth Wittenberg Triangle near to the Stonewall Inn, will also be one of few around the world remembering trans life – the memorial in Sackville Gardens in Manchester being another.

The New York City Mayor’s office issued a series of tweets:

NYC’s next public monument will honor pioneering trans activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera!

Marsha P. Johnson was a critical trans activist in the LGBTQ movement. Marsha provided much-needed shelter, clothing, and support for NYC’s homeless youth.

Sylvia Rivera was an incredible trans advocate who fought long and hard for trans recognition in the LGBTQ rights movement and was not afraid to go against the establishment to make her voice heard.

 

Both bi and trans, Rivera and Johnson are two of the best known participants in the Stonewall Inn riot fifty years ago in 1969.

That event kickstarted a lot of the LGBT liberation movement in the USA – and inspired the first Pride march a year later, organised by another bisexual, Brenda Howard.  The energy from the rebellion in New York spread both across the US and to the UK – where gay liberation campaigning was already under way and two years earlier had led to the decriminalisation of sex between men.