Cecilia Gentili—a renowned LGBT activist known for starring as Miss Orlando on Pose—died on Feb. 6. She was 52.
The LGBT+ community is mourning the loss of one of its brightest stars.
Cecilia Gentili, a transgender advocate and actress, died at the age of 52 on Feb. 6.
“Our beloved Cecilia Gentili passed away this morning to continue watching over us in spirit,” a statement shared on her Instagram page the same day read. “Please be gentle with each other and love one another with ferocity. We will be sharing more updates about services and what is to come in the following days. At this time, we’re asking for privacy, time, and space to grieve.”
Fans, friends and loved ones of the late actress were flooding the post with love.
“Our community will never be the same without you, Cecilia,” wrote U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Thank you for giving us so much, relentlessly, every single day. You transformed so many lives and shined a light across Jackson Heights, Corona, and beyond.”
Meanwhile, Cecilia’s Pose costars remembered her on and offscreen, with Angelica Ross commenting on the post, “Such a fierce advocate. Rest in Power.”
In a separate post, Dominique Jackson shared a clip of Cecilia on Pose, captioning the video, “AN ACTIVIST, AN ICON, A TRAILBLAZER, A MOTHER, A WIFE, AN ACTRESS AND COMEDIAN, AN AMAZING SISTER AND A PHENOMENAL HUMAN BEING!”
After coming out in 1984, the Argentina-native spent most of her life fighting for the rights of undocumented immigrants, sex workers, and LGBT people. In 2012, she sought asylum in New York—and lived there for the remainder of her years.
Later in life, Cecilia turned to creating art, publishing Faltas: Letters to Everyone in My Hometown Who Isn’t A Rapist in 2022 and starring in her one-woman show Red Ink the following year. The critically-acclaimed play, which debuted at New York’s Rattlestick Theater, documented her early life and her struggles with religion.
Describing the accomplishment as “amazing,” Cecilia told Interview magazine in November, “I am still trying to grasp the idea of having an off-Broadway show, because it wasn’t really planned.”
She added at the time, “I’m really, really happy. I cannot lie.”