Cecilia Gentili, Multi-Hyphenate Revolutionary, Dead at 52
Trans advocate Cecilia Gentili, known for her work in the transgender community, passed away at 52. Her legacy lives on.
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Cecilia Gentili, a beloved author, actress, and advocate for transgender rights and sex workers. At the age of 52, Cecilia left us to continue watching over us in spirit, as her Instagram page announced on Tuesday afternoon. Her parting words urged us to be gentle with each other and to love one another with ferocity.
Cecilia's journey began in Argentina, where she bravely immigrated to the United States in pursuit of a safer life as an openly transgender woman. In New York City, she supported herself through sex work, an experience that exposed her to drug abuse and eventually led to her incarceration at Rikers in 2009. Despite these challenges, Cecilia's resilience and determination led her to found Trans Equity Consulting in 2019, an organization dedicated to uplifting transwomen of color and centering the voices of sex workers, immigrants, and incarcerated individuals in the fight for a more just world.
In addition to her advocacy work, Cecilia was a talented artist who graced the screen as Miss Orlando on Pose and premiered her own one-woman show, Red Ink. Her passion for the arts also led her to create TRANSMISSION, NYC's first transgender music festival. Beyond her artistic endeavors, Cecilia documented the first 17 years of her life in Argentina in her memoir, Faltas: Letters to Everyone in My Hometown Who Isn't My Rapist, a powerful collection of letters that earned her the Israel Fishman Nonfiction Award.
The impact of Cecilia's life and work is evident in the outpouring of tributes from those who knew and admired her. GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis expressed the profound loss felt by the trans community in New York City and beyond, emphasizing the power of Cecilia's identity and gifts in helping more people be seen and heard.
Cecilia Gentili's legacy will continue to inspire and uplift those she touched, and her memory will live on in the hearts of all who were fortunate enough to know her.