Thousands Of Mourners Say Goodbye To Cecilia Gentili

“She was an angel,” said her partner.

Transgender activist Cecilia Gentili passed away at the age of 52 last week. Today, over 1400 people gathered to honor her memory at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Another 400 mourners watched the service from a livestream. According to a press release, Gentili is the first transgender person and outspoken sex worker to have their funeral at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The affair was both reverent and moving as funeral attendees chanted Cecilia‘s name in remembrance. Billy Porter gave a performance and trans activists Ceyenne Doroshow, Liaam Winslet spoke. Gentili’s partner, Peter Scotto also gave a speech. Celebrities in attendance included Sara Ramirez, Indya Moore, Peppermint, Raquel Willis, and Ryan McGinley.

“She was an angel,” said Scotto. “Seeing all the people at the funeral services, and all the love I’ve received from people in her community all over the world, is a testament of how awesome Cecilia was. I’m so grateful for them all. She was an angel, an icon, a mother, an educator, a leader, and so much to so many people. Her children from AIPACHA, I’d hear all the stories of trans kids getting hormones for the first time. Our phone would ring all the time in the middle of the night and she’d jump into action to help people in crisis. She’d always be there and answer that call. But tome, she was my partner. We woke every day next to each other with so much laughter and love. I’m going to take that with me forever.”

Gentili’s activism touched many lives. She was the author and founder of Trans Equity Consulting. She also served as the director of policy at Gay Men’s Health Crisis, was a founding member of Decrim NY, “a coalition working toward decriminalization, decarceration, and destigmatization of sex workers,” and was the founder of the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center.

In 2022, Gentili published her memoir Faltas: Letters to Everyone in My Hometown Who Isn’t My Rapist. The memoir was met with critical acclaim, and won the American Library Association’s 2023 Stonewall Book Award.

Gentili appeared on the hit show Pose, and was one of GO’s 100 Women We Love: Class of 2020. GLAAD described her in a statement as “a pillar in the trans community.”

Gentili was born in Argentina and came to America for asylum in 2012. She came out as a trans woman in 1984.

“Cecilia Gentili leaves a blazing legacy of love, kinship, and an infinite fire to uplift the liberation of trans people, sex workers, immigrants, and those pushed to the margins,” read a statement from Trans Equity Consulting, the organization founded by Cecilia Gentili. “Her mission to fully decriminalize and honor sex work continues through her namesake program Cecilia’s Occupational Inclusion Network (C.O.I.N.) Clinic, which provides free healthcare to sex workers in NYC, and the Stop Violence in The Sex Trades Act (SVSTA) in NY State –– a crucial piece of legislation that Governor Hochul could herald to truly honor Cecilia’s legacy. Cecilia, a fervent believer in action and impact over thoughts and prayers, prompts us all to carry her life’s work forward in providing material support to marginalized communities and fighting for a more just world.”

Cecilia Gentili leaves behind immediate and chosen family, her partner Peter Scotto, her sister Ceyenne Doroshow, LaLa Zanell, Victoria Von Blaque, Cristina Herrera, and Tabytha Gonzalez, and her children, Rio Sofia, Cyd Nova, Maya Margarita, Katia Perea, Oscar Diaz, Qween Jean, Gia Love, Liaam Winslet, Chiquitita, Joshua Allen, Bianca Cerna, Gogo Graham, Amarilla Diosa, Mateo Belen, Krzysztof Pastuszka, and more.

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