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5 Activists Who Paved the Way for Trans People

5 Activists Who Paved the Way for Trans People

5 Activists Who Paved the Way for Trans People

More often than not, the public tends to think being transgender is a new concept. Trans people only recently gained mainstream recognition, but obviously, we've always existed. Here are five trans activists who paved the way for transgender people.



1. Lucy Hicks Anderson

Lucy Hicks Anderson was born in 1886 in Waddy, Kentucky, and she was a pioneer in the fight for marriage equality. In 1944, local authorities discovered she was assigned male at birth, they charged she and her husband with perjury form marrying and put them on probation. They were charged again after she received federal money reserved for military spouses. Eventually, they were both sent to prison for fraud.



2. Albert Cashier

Albert Cashier was a trans man who joined the 95th Illinois Infantry on August 6, 1862. He was able to join after passing brief physical checks of just his feet and hands. Cashier lived as a man before he enlistment in the Union Army. He enlisted at the peak of the Civil War, and fought in dozens of battles as part of a brigade overseen by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. He was a true hero. 



3. Harry Allen

Living in the Wild West, Harry was one of the first outspokenly proud trans men on record in America and subjected to constant media attention for identifying as male. Allen was a firecracker who was arrested regularly for small crimes such as public intoxication, fighting, and occasional prostitution, which could have been caused by the isolation and constant ridicule he experienced.



4. Marsha P. Johnson

A judge once asked Marsha P. Johnson what the initial "P" stood for in her name. She replied, "Pay it no mind," which would become her signature. She co-founded STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) with her friend Sylvia Rivera. Post Stonewall uprising, Johnson was one of the first activists to combat racial and LGBT discrimination. 


Renee Richards

5. Renee Richards

Renee Richards was first known for being refused entry to the U.S. Open in 1976 due to having been assigned male at birth. Richards openly confronted the ban in front of the New York Supreme Court. The court ruled in Richards' favor, which established one of the first court recognized oppositions of transphobic acts. Richards became a role model and spokeswoman for the transgender community.

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