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Gloria Allen, Transgender Activist Who Ran a Charm School, Dies at 76

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Gloria Allen, a transgender activist whose experiences running a charm school in Chicago for at-risk transgender youth inspired an acclaimed documentary film, “Mama Gloria” and play, “Charm,” died on June 13 at her home in Chicago.

She was 76. The cause was respiratory failure, said Luchina Fisher, a close friend and the director of the documentary. Ms. Allen overcame intolerance and sexual violence in the era before the Stonewall Inn uprising of 1969 to become a celebrated figure in the transgender-rights movement in Chicago and beyond.

Mama Gloria, as she was known, operated her charm school out of the Center on Halsted, a community center for L.G.B.T.Q. people in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.

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