by Kevin Hofmann Director of the Office of Racial Equity and Cultural Inclusion In honor of pride month, I wanted to lift up women in the LGBTQ+ community and highlight their activitism. Three activists and trail-blazers you should know about are Stormé DeLarverie, Marsha P. Johnson, and Sylvia Rivera. It is time they get their due for the contributions they have made to this country and the world. My personal favorite is Stormé because of her fierce determination. Stormé DeLarverie was an influential figure in the LGBTQ+ community and is often recognized as one of the catalysts of the Stonewall Uprising in 1969. As a biracial lesbian and a performer, Stormé used her voice and presence to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community during a time when it was fraught with discrimination and violence. She was an entertainer and a bouncer at the Stonewall Inn, where she played a pivotal role in resisting a police raid that ignited the historic Uprising; rumor has it that Stormé was the first one who fought back against the brutal police violence and encouraged others to follow her example. Stormé's activism extended beyond that event as she dedicated her life to fighting for LGBTQ+ rights, particularly advocating for the rights and visibility of queer people of color. Her tireless efforts and fierce determination paved the way for progress and helped to shape the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement, leaving an indelible impact on the community she loved. Stormé's legacy inspires and reminds us of the importance of intersectional activism and the ongoing fight for equality. Marsha P. Johnson is an iconic figure in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality. She grew up as Malcolm Michaels Jr. in New Jersey. Despite facing societal challenges and struggling with her gender identity, Marsha embraced her true self and relocated to New York City's Greenwich Village in the late 1960s. It was in this vibrant and burgeoning LGBTQ+ community that Marsha's indomitable spirit flourished. Marsha played a pivotal role in the historic Stonewall Uprising of 1969. Her passionate activism and unwavering dedication to justice made her one of the prominent figures at the forefront of the LGBTQ+ rights movement, fighting against discrimination and police brutality. She fearlessly challenged societal norms, speaking out against the exclusion and marginalization faced by transgender individuals, especially within the broader gay rights movement. Marsha faced many challenges in her personal life, including her experiences with homelessness, mental health issues, and navigating a world that often rejected her. Despite these obstacles, Marsha's resilience and determination remained unwavering, inspiring countless individuals to embrace their identities and fight for equality. Alongside her close friend and fellow activist Sylvia Rivera, Marsha co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) organization , providing support and shelter to homeless transgender youth. Sylvia Rivera was a fearless and passionate LGBTQ+ activist whose efforts made significant contributions to the fight for equality and justice. As a transgender woman of Puerto Rican and Venezuelan descent, Sylvia experienced firsthand the intersecting oppressions faced by marginalized communities. She played an important role in the aftermath of the Stonewall Uprising, speaking against police brutality and advocating for the rights of transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals. Sylvia co-founded the STAR with Marsha P. Johnson. Throughout her life, she advocated for the rights of transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals, highlighting their struggles within the broader LGBTQ+ movement. Sylvia's dedication and activism continue to inspire generations of activists, reminding us of the importance of inclusivity and fighting for the rights of all members of the LGBTQ+ community.