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15 June 2009

Birdy Rivera (194? - ) street queen.

Robert Rivera came from a Puerto Rican family in the Bronx.

While his Jewish father had a male lover, Robert’s parents did not want him around. At age eleven, he became the lover of Joe, a police officer. Joe, who became his legal guardian, insisted that Birdy wear dresses, and also beat him.

Birdy and other gays at school formed a gang, the Commando Queens. They staked a claim to Riker’s, a restaurant at Christopher Street and Seventh Avenue, which they took over from the winos.

He was at Stonewall.

*Not the DJ.
*No known relation to Sylvia Rivera

  • David Carter. Stonewall : the riots that sparked the gay revolution. New York : St. Martin's Press 2004. New York: Griffin 2005: 59-60,167,177,179.
  • David Isay & Michael Schirker (producer). “Remembering Stonewall”. Weekend All Things Considered. July 1, 1989. Radio. Partial transcript at:


In the 1989 radio documentary, Birdy says that he has been cross-dressing all of his life.

Apart from the 1989 documentary, I cannot find anything about him after 1969.

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