Like so many parts of American history, popular culture depicts transgender history as one in which white leaders paved the way for everyone.
But, as our community has to keep reminding people, it was trans women of color who led the Stonewall riot and set off the gay rights movement in this country.
The work of countless black trans warriors have made significant impacts on equal rights and visibility throughout history. These pioneers forged ahead despite intersecting challenges and oppressions. Here are just five of the many black trans women whose influence has helped shape the transgender community as it is today.
Read this, honor these women in the present, thank them for what they’ve given us, continue their work, exalt them as they deserve.