Trans Activist Lorena Borjas Among the Lives Lost to COVID-19

Trans Activist Lorena Borjas Among the Lives Lost to COVID-19

It’s been a devastating three+ weeks to say the least. As we all grapple with personal losses, challenges and uncertainty, we’re also mourning the many cultural and community icons we have lost in such a short time to this terrible virus. The coming weeks will surely bring more sad news but lets take a moment to remember the many individuals no longer with us today.  These are some of the LGBTQI activists, scientists, artists, and musicians who touched our lives:

Lorena Borjas, 59
NYC Latina trans activist, community organizer, and health educator working to end human trafficking, Borjas created an emergency fund for the trans community impacted by COVID-19 as she was lying in her hospital bed.

Floyd Cardoz, 59
The incredibly talented and humble desi chef and restauranteur, Cordoz opened the pioneering modern NYC Indian restaurant Tabla with Danny Meyer in 1998 followed by Pao Walla, Bombay Bread Bar (NYC – now closed), Bombay Canteen, O Pedro and Bombay Sweet Shop (currently in Mumbai).

Manu Dibango, 86
Jazz singer and saxophonist–his disco-era hit “Soul Makossa” made its way to dance floors across the United States, Europe and Africa in the early 70s and his music influenced numerous pop-stars.

William Helmreich, 74
City College of New York Professor of Sociology and author of “The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City” (2013)

Ellis Marsalis Jr., 85
New Orleans based jazz pianist, educator, and father of Wynton Marsalis

Terrence McNally, 81
Renowned gay playwright and five-time Tony Award winner who penned “Kiss of the Spider Woman” (1993), “Ragtime” (1998) and “Love! Valour! Compassion!” (1995).

Dr. Gita Ramjee, 63
Acclaimed South African scientist and leading AIDS researcher who fought AIDS denialism with science and evidence.

Adam Schlesinger, 52
Co-founded the pop-rock band Fountains of Wayne. He was an Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning songwriter.

Nashom Wooden, 50
Wooden’s drag persona Mona Foot was renowned in NYC’s queer club and bar scene. We’ll never forget her legendary acts at Boy Bar and Barracuda.


Posted: April 1st, 2020

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