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Cecilia Gentili, Trans Activist and Pose Actress, Dead at 52: ‘A Pillar in the Trans Community’


“Pose” star and transgender activist Cecilia Gentili died on Tuesday at the age of 52.

via: People

Gentili’s death was announced on Tuesday in a statement shared on her Instagram page. “Our beloved Cecilia Gentili passed away this morning to continue watching over us in spirit,” the post says before asking the public “for privacy, time, and space to grieve.”

The LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD also confirmed Gentili’s death in a separate statement, describing her as “a pillar in the trans community.”

“Cecilia just celebrated her 52nd birthday, surrounded by friends, loved ones, and community,” the agency said.

Gentili, who was born in Argentina, first came out in 1984 and received asylum in the United States in 2012, according to Playbill.

In Pose, Gentili played Miss Orlando, a New York City woman who offers discounted cosmetic surgery. She made her first appearance in season 1.

Dominique Jackson, who also appeared in Pose, paid tribute to Gentili with a heartfelt post on Instagram featuring a clip of the pair performing together on the show.

“AN ACTIVIST, AN ICON, A TRAILBLAZER, A MOTHER, A WIFE, AN ACTRESS AND COMEDIAN, AN AMAZING SISTER AND A PHENOMENAL HUMAN BEING!” Jackson, 48, captioned her post.

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Above the video, Jackson wrote, “REST IN POWER AND ACCOMPLISHMENT BEAUTIFUL SISTER.”

Angelica Ross and Hailie Sahar, who also appeared in Pose, honored Gentili on social media as well. “REST IN POWER CECILIA” Ross, 43, wrote on her Instagram Story atop a clip from the show.

“Rest well sister,” Sahar, 36, said in her own Instagram Story post. “Your talent was so bright and you are an inspiration.”

Gentili was also an award-winning author and the founder of Trans Equity Consulting, according to the New York Daily News. She previously served as director of policy at Gay Men’s Health Crisis as well.

Gentili was a founding member of Decrim NY, “a coalition working toward decriminalization, decarceration, and destigmatization of sex workers,” according to GLAAD.

In 2021, Gentili founded the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The center offers healthcare and other services for LGBTQ communities in New York “regardless of their ability to pay,” per its website.

The health center has since expanded to include free healthcare for sex workers through Cecilia’s Occupational Inclusion Network, THR reported.

Gentili also worked with The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center and the APICHA (Asian and Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS) Community Health Center in New York, GLAAD said.

In 2022, Gentili released her memoir titled Faltas: Letters to Everyone in My Hometown Who Isn’t My Rapist. The book won the American Library Association’s 2023 Stonewall Book Award, according to GLAAD.

The following year, she produced a new solo show called Red Ink. The show was expected to return to The Public Theater in New York City this April, GLAAD said.

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