Cecilia Gentili: Transgender activist and ‘Pose’ star dies at 52


Cecilia Gentili
Cecilia Gentili. Image: Instagram

New York-based transgender activist Cecilia Gentili, who also appeared in Pose, has died at the age of 52.

A post on Argentinian-born Gentili’s Instagram announced her death Tuesday afternoon.

“Our beloved Cecilia Gentili passed away this morning to continue watching over us in spirit,” the announcement read.

“Please be gentle with each other and love one another with ferocity.”

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

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

 

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

Pose costar Dominique Jackson paid tribute with a heartfelt post on Instagram featuring a clip of the pair on the show.

In another post, Jackson wrote that she was “deeply saddened” by Gentili’s “departure.”

“Even in death you are a force to be reckoned with, your legacy one of movement, love and compassion unapologetic and true,” Jackson continued.

“I thank you dearly for ALL the work you have done. You sacrificed you boldly telling your truth and living it and for that you have changed and influenced many lives and the world.”

Tributes for ‘champion’ Cecilia Gentili

New York Governor Kathy Hochul took to X (formally Twitter) to pay tribute.

“New York’s LGBTQ+ community has lost a champion in trans icon Cecilia Gentili,” she wrote.

“As an artist and steadfast activist in the trans rights movement, she helped countless people find love, joy, and acceptance. Our hearts are with her loved ones in this difficult time.”

In an essay for the 2023 anthology “Surviving Transphobia,” Gentili shrugged off the label of “radical” to describe her life’s work.

“I say this to trans people, trans women of color, and to trans women of color who are undocumented or sex workers or both, people like me: Do what you can to achieve whatever level of empowerment you can get, but also be safe,” she wrote.

“I’ll probably never call myself radical, especially in two countries with such high rates of trans femicide and histories of coups.

“I never want to judge my work by how ‘radical’ I am,” she added. “But I do judge it on what I’m doing for my people and for myself.”

Rest in Power, Cecilia.

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Sarah Davison

After working in print and radio, Sarah has joined the team at QNews to expand their coverage into South Australia. Sarah has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and a Masters in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Get in touch: sarah@qnews.com.au

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