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Ain't No Mountain High Enough.
Bayard Rustin, Sylvia Rivera, Audre Lorde and Harvey Milk. This is to honor their fight for the rights of millions.
These four historical figures are some of the most influential people in the history of LGBTQ rights. Each of these glorious humans has so much more to offer the world than what I can sum up for you here so I encourage you, if you haven't already, to get acquainted with their work. I promise you won't regret it.
Bayard Rustin fought for civil rights, gay rights, and overall human rights throughout his life. He was an advisor to Martin Luther King Jr and was a leading activist in attempting to end racial discrimination in the job force as early as 1941. By the 1980s he was a public advocate on behalf of many gay causes.
"Let us be enraged about injustice, but let us not be destroyed by it."-Bayard Rustin
Sylvia Rivera was a Latina gay liberation and transgender rights activist. After overcoming being forced into child sex work at the age of 11, she joined the Gay Activist Alliance at the age of 18. She co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries who were dedicated to helping homeless young drag queens, gay youth, and trans women. She also had a lifelong dedication as an activist.
"Hell hath no fury like a drag queen scorned."-Sylvia Rivera
Audre Lorde is a self-described “black, lesbian, feminist, mother, poet, warrior” and one who never shied away from difficult subjects, but instead, embraced them in all their complexity. Lorde was a critic of second-wave feminism, helmed by white, middle-class women, and wrote that gender oppression was not inseparable from other oppressive systems like racism, classism and homophobia. She has made lasting contributions in the fields of feminist theory, critical race studies and queer theory through her pedagogy and writing since 1951.
"The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house."-Audre Lorde
Harvey Milk was a lifelong activist for the rights of marginalized people as well as a leader in the gay rights movement of the 1970s. In 1978, he became the first openly gay man elected to a major public office in the United States. That same year, he was assassinated. Despite his tragically short career in politics, Milk remains an icon in San Francisco and is considered “a martyr for gay rights” worldwide. His legacy of working for the civil rights of all and building coalitions among diverse groups continues to inspire and inform social justice work today.
"Hope will never be silent."-Harvey Milk