Transgender activist Cecilia Gentili, has passed away at the age of 52. Her death was announced via Instagram earlier this week.
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“Our beloved Cecilia Gentili passed away this morning to continue watching over us in spirit,” the post reads, and requests that the public respects the family’s privacy and time and space to grieve.
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.
Gentili played Miss Orlando in Pose. Miss Orlando was a Manhattanite who did under the table plastic surgery. Gentili costar, Dominique Jackson, remembered her friend with a post on Instagram.
“AN ACTIVIST, AN ICON, A TRAILBLAZER, A MOTHER, A WIFE, AN ACTRESS AND COMEDIAN, AN AMAZING SISTER AND A PHENOMENAL HUMAN BEING!🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾💕💕💕💕💕💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖,” she wrote.
Other Pose stars Angelica Ross and Hailie Sahar paid their tributes to the late Gentili.“REST IN POWER CECILIA” Ross wrote in an Instagram story.
“Rest well sister. Your talent was so bright and you are an inspiration,” Sahar, wrote in her own Instagram story.