Sheri Payne has seen a lot during the nearly four decades that she's been performing at the legendary Baton night club in Chicago. This is her advice for the next generation of trans women.
Before pioneering transgender studies in academia, Sandy Stone was a member of the legendary lesbian music collective Olivia Records—and the target of vitriol from early trans exclusive radical feminists.
After living in Central Park as a teen, Ceyenne Doroshow moved on to working at a homeless shelter, then founding an organization that supports trans sex workers.
In the 60s, activist and entertainer Felicia Elizondo was a regular at San Francisco's Compton's Cafeteria, the site of a historic 1966 riot for trans rights, and the only place she felt free as a transgender woman.
"You can have all the money in the world and have to hide in your house because your neighbors won't let you out without gawking at you. So how do you change this? You stand up and you speak."
Mia Yamamoto was born in a Japanese internment camp and served in the Vietnam War. Then, after she became a leading criminal defense attorney, she came out as transgender.
For years, Karina Samala worked for the military by day and secretly performed as a woman in bars at night. Now, she's one of LA's hardest fighting transgender activists.
Chicago's iconic Chilli Pepper reflects on winning trans beauty pageants and appearing on sensational talk shows in the 80s, and the three decades she's spent performing at legendary clubs like The Baton.
"Back in those days, GLB did not really care much about the T part. ... Hasn’t changed much, either." Transgender activist Judy Bowen recalls growing into her advocacy in 60s New York alongside Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.
"You have no idea what you could become or who you could become until you stop playing follow the leader." Trans legend Jackie Shane reflects on her time touring as an R&B singer in the 60s, and offers advice on being unapologetically yourself.
Stonewall Uprising veteran Miss Major Griffin-Gracy offers fighting words from a lifetime of advocacy.
"The Black movement, and the women’s movement, was all up and going. And it was time for the gay movement to start." Legendary transgender activist Victoria Cruz reflects on the era of the Stonewall uprising.