Skip to main content

Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) Research Guide

A guide on Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries we made for 2016 Pride. STAR made a huge impact in the Gay Liberation movement, advocated for gay rights and was one of the first attempts to address the needs of homeless trans youth in New York.

NYPL's DIGITAL COLLECTIONS

Of 748,105 items digitized from The New York Public Library's collections, are some of the only easily accessable digital images of S.T.A.R in action.

 

 Diana Davies Photograph Collection.

 The collection consists of black and white photographic prints, color slides and negatives taken by Diana Davies during the late 1960's through the 1970's. The subjects include representatives of several New York gay and lesbian organizations including the Gay Liberation Front and Lavender Menace, and demonstrations, marches and meetings. Individuals photographed include Rita Mae Brown (activist and writer), Jill Johnston (writer and critic), Bob Kohler (co-founder of the Gay Liberation Front), and Kady Van Deurs (activist and writer). The collection also includes a small amount printed material.

International Gay Information Center collection

This collection consists chiefly of photographs donated to the International Gay Information Center Archives before its acquisition by The New York Public Library in 1988. Additional gifts of photography have been added to the collection during the 1990s. The collection documents many aspects of the history and culture of gay men and lesbians, including activism, AIDS, erotica, pageants, parties and theatre. The collection includes snapshots, studio prints, movie stills, and slides. The materials date from 1886 to the present. While the majority of the materials are from the 1970s, there are several images from the 1950s.

 

SCROLL THROUGH THIS GALLERY TO VIEW IMAGES FROM THESE COLLECTIONS

Photo Credit: Diana Davies via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

Sylvia Rivera & Arthur Bell at 1970 New York University Gay Activist Alliance protest

Photo Credit: Diana Davies via New York Public Library Digital Collections.

Marsha P. Johnson hands out flyers for support of gay students at N.Y.U

Photo Credit: Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. "Marsha P. Johnson hands out flyers for support of gay students at N.Y.U." New York Public Library Digital Collections.

Sylvia Ray Rivera (front) and Arthur Bell at gay liberation demonstration, New York University

Photo Credit: Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. "Sylvia Ray Rivera (front) and Arthur Bell at gay liberation demonstration, New York University, 1970" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed June 30, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e3-57b4-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
 

Videos

Much of STARs work was not recognized and preserved by major archives and local history collections. Thus there is no central video collection however below are examples of footage that can be found through careful research on blogs, library collections, and popular video sharing sites like youtube.

'Y'all Better Quiet Down': Sylvia Rivera goes OFF

In 1973, during the fourth annual Christopher Street Liberation Day Rally in Washington Square Park, Rivera challenged the community. After all, her exclusion was not only at the hands of middle class white gay men, but she was also pushed to the margins by lesbian feminists. She took the stage amidst a chorus of boos. In her well-known speech, “Y’all Better Quiet Down,” she shouts at the crowd“You all tell me, go and hide my tail between my legs. I will no longer put up with this shit. I have been beaten. I have had my nose broken. I have been thrown in jail. I have lost my job. I have lost my apartment. For gay liberation, and you all treat me this way? What the fuck’s wrong with you all? Think about that!”