What is the Trans Rights Movement?

The Transgender Rights Movement was created to shed light on trans visibility and open up opportunities to the trans community. The movement has been hugely successful in making progress for the trans community’s legal and human rights.

The movement was started by a number of trans individuals throughout the second half of the 20th century. First, in 1952 by Christine Jorgensen, an openly trans woman. She was the first openly trans individual to really bring attention to the transgender experience by using her fame.

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Members of the gay and trans community broke out in riots when police officers attempted to discriminate against trans individuals. Heavily publicized riots at Cooper’s Doughnuts and at Compton’s Cafeteria brought even more attention to the injustices towards trans people.


But perhaps the most well-known trans activists were Sylvia Rivera and Marsha Johnson, two trans women of color who led the Stonewall riot in an event most commonly recognized as the birth of the LGBTQ movement.

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Marsha Johnson, left, and Sylvia Rivera, right.

Today, the primary goals of the Trans Rights movement are to increase trans visibility and include the Trans community into the legal and social fabric of society. The movement seeks to protect trans people from discrimination in healthcare, housing, education, employment, and adoption. The movement manifests itself in many different efforts: the Transgender Law and Policy Institute, the National Center for Transgender Equality, as well as the Trans People of Color Coalition.




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