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Celebrating Queer Women's History: Important Voices to Know on International Women's Day

March 8, 2023



On International Women's Day, it is important to recognize the unique challenges and contributions of LGBTQIA+ women in our society. They have been at the forefront of many movements for social justice and equity, from fighting for gender equality to advocating for the rights of trans people. As we celebrate International Women's Day, let us take a moment to embrace equity by recognizing and celebrating LGBTQIA+ women around the world. Let us work towards creating an equitable future where everyone can live with dignity and respect no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.

LGBTQIA+ women have long been at the forefront of many movements for gender equality, from fighting for pay equity to advocating for reproductive rights. They have also helped bring visibility to issues related to racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, and more. Despite facing unique discrimination based on their gender identity or sexual orientation, LGBTQIA+ women continue to make a profound impact on our society every day.

Some of the most important LGBTQIA+ women in history are:

Marsha P. Johnson

an African-American transgender woman who was a prominent figure in the Stonewall riots and other early gay rights demonstrations. She was also one of the founders of Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), which provided housing and support to homeless trans youth. Johnson dedicated her life to advocating for social justice and she is remembered as a pioneer in the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights.

Marsha P. Johnson's activism paved the way for future generations of queer people, inspiring them to take on their own battles for equality. Her legacy continues today through organizations such as The Marsha P. Johnson Institute, which works to protect and empower Black trans people around the world by providing resources like education programs and legal aid services. In addition, her name has been memorialized with statues, murals, streets and parks across major cities throughout America, ensuring that her memory will live on forever.

Sylvia Rivera

a Latina transgender woman who was also a prominent voice in the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights. As a teenager, she joined Johnson at the Stonewall riots and went on to become one of the most influential figures in American queer history. She was an outspoken activist and worked tirelessly to improve conditions for homeless trans youth through organizations such as STAR.

In addition, Rivera founded several organizations dedicated to helping marginalized communities, including Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) and Gay Liberation Front (GLF). In later years, she became involved with ACT UP and fought against AIDS discrimination throughout her life.

Rivera’s activism has been integral in advancing social justice causes around gender identity and sexual orientation. She was one of the first people to call out intersectionality within feminism by recognizing that not all women are treated equally because of their race or class background. Her work continues today through grassroots movements such as Queer Nation NYC which works towards creating safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ people across New York City.

Audre Lorde.

an Afro-Caribbean lesbian and feminist writer whose work focused heavily on the intersection of racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression. Her writing explored how these systems of oppression intersected to create a unique experience for black women that was not addressed by mainstream feminism.

Lorde was also an activist who fought against injustice in many ways. For example, she organized protests at Harvard University in 1969 when they refused to hire faculty members from marginalized backgrounds such as African Americans or women. In addition, she founded the Women's Coalition of St Croix which provided support for those affected by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Throughout her life, she advocated for racial justice and gender equity through her writings and activism.

Her work continues to have a lasting impact today as it inspires people all over the world to stand up against discrimination based on race, gender identity, or sexual orientation. It also serves as a reminder that we must fight against multiple oppressions at once if we truly want to achieve social justice for everyone regardless of their background or identity.

Alice Dunbar Nelson

She was a poet, journalist, and civil rights advocate, and she is remembered for her work promoting racial equality. As an African American, she faced discrimination throughout her life due to the racism of the times. She was also a lesbian who wrote about her same-sex desires in her poetry and other works, which challenged traditional views around sexuality.

Nelson fought for equal rights for people of all races as part of the NAACP and was also a key figure in establishing African American women's clubs such as The Black Women's Club Movement. She worked to support black women’s education and suffrage through her writing and activism during the early 20th century.

Today, her legacy lives on through organizations like the Alice Dunbar Nelson Coalition which works to promote social justice by commemorating the life of this prominent queer woman in women's history. Her work serves as an example to others that no matter what their background or identity is they can make a difference by standing up against injustice.

These women have left an indelible mark on history by standing up for their beliefs and fighting against discrimination based on gender, race, sexual orientation, or any other form of oppression. Their stories serve as a reminder that we must continue to strive for social justice to create a more equitable society where everyone is treated equally regardless of their background. We can honor these important queer women in history by learning from them and continuing the fight they started so long ago. Let us use their legacies as inspiration to bring about positive change today!

Written By: 

Kollyn Conrad




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