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In Case You Didn't Know: Black Trans Women In History

In Case You Didn't Know: Black Trans Women In History

03/31/2023 12:00 AM EDT by Zayna Allen

Women's History Month has come to a close for the year. It is time for other underrepresented communities to get their shine starting with International Trans Day of Visibility. Every March 31st, we celebrate the holiday. It was created to celebrate transgender people, raise awareness of continuous transgender injustices and celebrate their contributions to society.

Black trans women's history is deep and rich. For this week's In Case You Didn't Know, we highlight a few of them as the perfect way to close out Women's History Month.

Black Trans Women History Makers

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Let's start with New Jersey’s very own Marsha P. Johnson. She was one of the most prominent figures in the gay rights movement in the 1960s. Although she wasn't at the original Stonewall riot in 1969, she was a prominent figure in the movement following shortly after. Since the term “transgender” was not popular until after she died in 1992, she identified as a transvestite and used she/her pronouns.

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Next up is Andrea Jenkins. In 2017, the politician made history by becoming the first openly trans woman elected to public office in America. She was voted on the Minneapolis city council and then became the council’s president in 2022. Not only is she a politician, she is also a writer, performance artist and poet.

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Next is Laverne Cox. The actress made waves when she first emerged on the scene in 2012 starring in Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. She then rose to stardom, becoming the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy award, the first trans woman on the cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine and the first transgender person to win a daytime Emmy as a producer.