Lorena Borjas (1960-2020)
Known to many as a “mother figure” of the transgender and non-binary community, Lorena Borjas was a Mexican immigrant who endured a life of poverty, addiction, and exploitation on the streets before dedicating her life to the health and wellness of her Queens community. Borjas used her home as a clinic for those who needed access to HIV testing, provided funds and legal representation to transexual sex-workers wrongfully arrested and helped over 100 transexual people obtain immigration status.
Elisa Crespo was the first transgender woman of color to run for public office in the Bronx and currently works as the Executive Director of the New Pride Agenda, an organization advocating policy and legislation for marginalized members of New York’s LGBTQ+ community. She played a key role in advocating for the Lorena Borjas Trans & Non-Binary Wellness & Equity Fund signed into law in 2022, which she states will be “the first time in history, Trans New Yorkers will be recognized in the state budget.”