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Cecilia Gentili, a beloved transgender activist and actress, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 52.
The news was confirmed on Gentili’s Instagram page, where her team shared a statement expressing their grief and asking for privacy during this difficult time.
GLAAD, an LGBTQIA+ advocacy group, also paid tribute to Gentili, celebrating her contributions as an advocate, actress, journalist, and activist for sex worker rights.
Gentili was the founder of Trans Equity Consulting and a founding member of Decrim NY, a coalition advocating for the decriminalization of sex work.
She was also a vocal critic of the New York Times’ coverage of transgender issues, and she worked with other transgender journalists to challenge biased and inaccurate reporting.
Just before her passing, Gentili celebrated her 52nd birthday surrounded by friends, loved ones, and community members.
Tributes poured in for Gentili on social media, with many people describing her as a legend, a titan, and an unapologetic example of trans joy and power.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul called Gentili a “trans icon” and praised her work as an artist and activist.
Pose co-creator Steven Canals and cast members Angelica Ross and Hailie Sahar also shared tributes, expressing their gratitude for Gentili’s contributions to the show and the transgender community.
In 2022, Gentili released her memoir, “Faltas: Letters to Everyone in My Hometown Who Isn’t My Rapist,” which won the American Library Association’s 2023 Stonewall Book Award.