Sara Hegazy

Sara Hegazy, a bold Egyptian LGBTQI+ rights activist, lived in a society where the members of her community, their bodies and lives often face lethal prejudice. The roots of Sara’s resistance were in the deconstruction of a dominant, oppressive and patriarchal system, and its anti-rights actors.

Lorena Borjas

Lorena Borjas, a trans Latina woman and activist, lived and worked in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens, New York City. In those streets, she looked after her community for years, advocating for trans and immigrant rights, supporting survivors of human trafficking and abuse, campaigning for sex workers’ rights and those of people living with HIV and AIDS.

Lorena was strong and tireless in her fight to support, defend, and have the back of those most marginalized and discriminated by transphobia, misogyny and racism. 

Roxana Reyes Rivas

Roxana Reyes Rivas, philosopher, feminist, lesbian, poet, politician and LGBT and women’s rights activist from Costa Rica. Owner of a sharp pen and incisive humour, a laugh a minute. She was born in 1960 and raised in San Ramón of Alajuela, when it was a rural town, and her whole life she would break away from the mandates of what it meant to be a woman.   

Sylvia Rivera

Sylvia Rivera was a civil rights activist, a transvestite and sex worker.

Known as the New York Drag queen of color, Silvia was fierce and tireless in her advocacy, in defense of those who  were marginalized and excluded as the “gay rights” movement mainstreamed in the United States in the early 1970’s.

In a well-known speech on Christopher Street Day in 1973, Sylvia, shouted through a crowd of LGBT community members: 

Yelena Grigoriyeva

Yelena Grigoriyeva, often called Lena by friends, was a prominent LGBT rights campaigner in Russia.

She was part of democratic, anti-war and LGBT movements. In her activism, Yelena was a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin and his administration, expressing her opposition against Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and the ill-treatment of prisoners. 

Yelena came out as bisexual earlier in 2019.

Bessy Ferrera

Bessy Ferrera was a lifelong defender of the human rights of trans people, sex workers and HIV positive people in Honduras.

Bessy was also a member of Arcoíris, an organisation which supports the LGBTI+ community. She was also a focal point person for the Right Here, Right Now (Derechos aquí y Ahora) Platform of Honduras, and advocated strongly for full citizenship of trans people, and the passing of a gender identity law that would allow trans people to change their gender identity legally.

Selena “Rocky” Malone

Rocky showed inspirational leadership and direction in working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Brotherboy and Sistergirl (LGBTIQBBSG) youth at risk.

Rocky started her career with the Queensland Police Service as a Police Liaison Officer. Making a difference was important to her. She led an impressive career working with young LGBTIQBBSG people as the Manager of Open Doors Youth Service.

So'oalo Roger

So'oalo was a fervent human rights advocate, especially pertaining to the rights of the LGBTQI community in the Pacific.

She was a member of the Samoa Fa’afafine Association (SFA) and a passionate advocate for the acknowledgement of a third gender in the island country. Under her leadership, the SFA pushed for the recognition of the validity and rights of the fa’afafine community.

María Cecilia Alfaro Quesada

Most of María’s life was devoted to incorporating a feminist and gender perspective in institutional and organizational work, and capacity building in Latin America. 

As a child, María had a strong interest in art, communication, nature, literature, and the achievement of justice, especially for women and marginalized groups.

Kagendo Murungi

Kagendo is remembered fondly by family and friends as a fierce African feminist activist, artist, and filmmaker.

She dedicated over 20 years to advocate for the rights and dignity of African LGBTIQ and gender non conforming people.

Kagendo’s colleagues remember her as someone with a jovial personality, fierce conviction, and love for life. Kagendo died due to natural causes at her home in Harlem on December 27th, 2017.