Trans activist Lorena Borjas passed away Monday morning after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
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Borjas, 60, was a pillar of the trans Latinx community in Queens. According to the Transgender Law Center, Borjas set up a weekly HIV testing center and worked tirelessly to support those who were victims of abuse and sex trafficking, situations she herself had survived.
Chase Strangio, a friend and representative from the Lorena Borjas Community Fund, confirmed the activist’s death on Facebook.
“She carried the love and the trauma of so much and so many,” Strangio wrote. “She held the stories of generations and she preserved generations of stories with her love. Thank you, Lorena. May you rest and fight and love in power wherever you are. I will fight for you every day.”
Tributes started rolling in on Twitter, mourning Borjas and thanking her for everything she had done.
“Very sad to wake up this morning and know that one of the TRANS rights activists in NYC has lost the battle against #Coronavirus, activist Bianey Garcia wrote. “I am speechless, Lorena Borjas, thank you for everything you did for the community and for the impact you have had on the lives of many, including me.”
“Lorena Borjas lost the battle against COVID19 but, she won the hearts of community members across the country,” another user wrote. “She was a Trans Latina Immigrant Human Rights, Leader and Pioneer in our movement. This is a huge lost to our movement and the community of New York. Rest in Power”
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared her sentiments, writing, “Heartbroken to share that Lorena Borjas, a prolific trans organizer and Queens activist, passed away from COVID-19. Lorena championed mutual aid in the LGBT+ community, and her Community Fund was saving lives of queer people & immigrants impacted by COVID.”
Earlier this month, Borjas helped set up a community fund that would benefit transgender people who had lost their source of income during the coronavirus pandemic.