African-American Transgender Trailblazers: Ebony Magazine Looks At Challenges Of 'Living Honestly'

03/01/2012 04:37 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

In its March issue, Ebony magazine is paying tribute to an oft-overlooked segment of the African-American population: the transgender community.

"Their presence and contributions are not a recent development, but can be traced back through the centuries," writes Monica Roberts, citing the case of Lucy Hicks Andersen, a Kentucky native who lived as a woman in Oxnard, California, from 1920 until 1945, when it was discovered that she was biologically male.

Roberts, who is also transgender and was part of a team that founded the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC) in 1999, also points out the 1966 Compton's Cafeteria Riots, and the better known 1969 Stonewall Riots, as two historical events in which African-American trans advocates were involved.

On the flip side, she also recalls how the 1998 murder of Rita Hester, a 34-year-old African American transgender woman, "as the impetus to organize the now worldwide memorial service we call the Transgender Day of Remembrance."

"As for the future, we can hope to see even more Black trans history be made in the second decade of the 21st century and beyond," Roberts concludes.

You can read the full article here.

Take a look at some other transgender trailblazers (of many different races) below:


20 Transgender Pioneers
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