Also.Also.Also: Rest in Infinite Power Trans Latina Activist Lorena Borjas. We Will Continue Your Work.

I love you.


Queer as in F*ck You

“When transgender women in Queens needed a safe place to be tested for HIV, Lorena Borjas turned her home into a clinic. When others were arrested and charged with prostitution, she bailed them out. When some faced deportation after an arrest, she created a nonprofit group to arrange for their legal representation.”

If you were arrested at 3AM, don’t worry be because Lorena would be at the courthouse by 8 — with a lawyer. Lorena Borjas, an absolute institution of New York’s trans and queer Latinx community, has died from Covid-19. 

Borjas crossed the Mexico-U.S. border in 1981 and spent the rest of her life fighting hard for trans women, for sex workers, for queer and trans people of color. In 2018, she was pardoned by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for previous arrests stemming from her sex work, and in his pardon, the governor commended her unwavering commitment to queer and trans communities.

When she first heard of the news, Borjas told Voice of NY, “I thought that someone was pulling a prank on me, but I was overcome with joy when my attorney told me that it was all true, that I had been pardoned by the governor. I want to tell him that I will not betray his trust and that his pardon will change my life and that of other women. I am very grateful.”

“Lorena saved so many lives from state violence, neglect, and abuse, and she fought tirelessly for trans migrants, people living with HIV, and sex workers,” the Transgender Law Center wrote in their memory of her. “She should still be with us.”

Last month, in one of her final acts of service, Lorena Borjas started a trans aid fund for those experiencing loss of income, homelessness, or medical bills due to the Coronavirus. Please consider donating in her name and honor our community in her memory.

Que descanse en paz y poder, mi reina. 👑


Saw This, Thought of You

Real talk, I’m never going to watch Tiger King, but for the rest of you: Tiger King’s Saff Still Wants the Best for the Animals

LeVar Burton Is Planning To Read To Us Again, Beginning This Friday

How to Optimize Your Home During Self-Quarantine

Sex Work Is Changing in the Pandemic. Here’s How It Affects Workers.

Sure we talked about Zoom parties on Monday, but we all live at home now and the days are melding together like hot wax, so here we are again: How to Throw a Rave at the End of the World (Related: Using Zoom For Remote Work Or School? Here’s How To Make The Most Of It)

“You Don’t Own Me”: The Rebellious Freedom Cry At The Heart Of The First Wives Club, which is also a great time to pull up one of my favorite pieces, Remembering Lesley Gore, A Lesbian Icon by Sarah Fonseca for Buzzfeed News

They Will Stop at Nothing to Ban Abortion

It’s Okay to Miss Your Old Life


Political Snacks

Three Truths and a Lie: A Version for Organizers. This title is misleading. Most organizers I know are working their ass off on the ground making sure the basic needs of their community are covered during a global crisis, and this roundup from The Nation is actually about the three remaining camps of the 2020 Democratic election (Bernie voters, hang on Warren voters, and Biden voters) — which is certainly not the same thing. HOWEVER! It’s still an excellent read if you have any space left in your brain to think about the fact that somehow, someway, there’s still an election going on and maybe we should think about how to come together around that.

And Also(Also.Also): Every Food and Delivery Strike Happening Now. Friends don’t let friends cross picket lines.

Carmen is Autostraddle's Senior Editor and a black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 199 articles for us.

11 Comments

  1. If “friends don’t let friends cross picket lines” as you say, it would be great to see Autostraddle at the very least put a note about this on the Amazon link in the affiliate marketplace page to warn people away. Or better yet, remove the link altogether, and don’t post links to buy things from Amazon in future articles, at least for the duration of the strike.

    • This. It’s been sitting badly with me for a while that autostraddle has been linking to and through amazon, especially in regards to book recs , instead of supporting small, queer owned bookstores, while asking the community for donations to keep themselves afloat.
      The money generated through affiliate links can’t be worth that much that it‘s worth compromising integrity.
      Even my great aunt, who is 85 and not a liberal by any means is wondering how anyone can still order through amazon. A strike shouldn’t be necessary to not support a company that refuses to pay its workers sick leave during a pandemic and treats them horribly.
      That’s what giving money to a company is, btw., support, and as of right now, autostraddle is uncritically endorsing supporting amazon.

      • agreed. I don’t think Autostraddle has ever pretended to be outside of a capitalistic system but it seems counterintuitive to me that a site that actively promotes justice for workers and poor people does not take its money where its mouth is.

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