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Henry Gerber

In 1924, Henry Gerber, a German immigrant, founded in Chicago the Society for Human Rights, the first documented gay rights organization in the United States. During his U.S. Army service in World War I, Gerber was inspired to create his organization by the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee, a “homosexual emancipation” group in Germany.

Christine Jorgensen

American trans woman who was the first person to become widely known in the United States for having sex reassignment surgery.

Marsha P. Johnson

An outspoken advocate for gay rights, Johnson was one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. Johnson was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front and co-founded the radical activist group Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.), alongside close friend Sylvia Rivera.

Syliva Rivera

American gay liberation and transgender rights activist who was also a noted community worker in New York. Rivera, who identified as a drag queen, participated in demonstrations with the Gay Liberation Front.

Harvey Milk

An American politician and the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

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Audre Lorde

An American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist. She was a self-described "black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet," who "dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing injustices of racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia."

Alexya Salvador

She is a trans woman in Brazil, where violence against LGBTQ people has reached an all-time high. More than 380 LGBTQ-identifying people were murdered in Brazil in 2017 and 58 died by suicide, the Guardian reported. And she’s a pastor. Salvador calls herself the “first transgender shepherd of Latin America,” and, with other trans pastors from around the world, held a groundbreaking LGBTQ-friendly mass in Cuba last year.

Urvashi Vaid

She was an Indian-born American LGBT rights activist, lawyer, and writer. An expert in gender and sexuality law, she was a consultant in attaining specific goals of social justice. She held a series of roles at the National LGBTQ Task Force.

Arsham Parsi

First began secretly working to support members of the LGBTQ community in his native Iran. But in 2005, the queer activist was forced to flee his country, where homosexual activity remains illegal. Today, Parsi lives in exile in Canada, where he has founded the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees, which supports and provides guidance to LGBTQ asylum seekers from the Middle East.

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