General News

Trans activist Soraya Santiago dead at 73

Rachel Badham October 5, 2020

Puerto Rican trans activist Soraya Santiago has died at 73 due to cancer. Santiago was the first person from Puerto Rico to undergo gender-reassignment surgery and change her birth certificate to align with her gender-identity. Although Santiago was not in the Stonewall Inn when the riots began, she was known to spend time there and was well known among New York and Puerto Rico’s LGBTQ+ communities. She was also the first trans person to run for office in Puerto Rico and published a book titled Made by Hand: Gender Dysmorphia.

Trans activist Ivana Fred told The Washington Post: “Soraya was a pioneer, our teacher, our beacon of light. She opened the door for all us trans people and left us a legacy of unwavering spirit that is unmatched”. Many others have mourned her death, with one Twitter user calling her a ‘trailblazer’ for trans rights. The NOH8 Campaign tweeted ‘Rest In Power Soraya’.