Amida Care Remembers Lorena Borjas
March 31 2020
Lorena helped provide legal and financial assistance to transgender women, especially Latinx New Yorkers. At age 21, Lorena moved to Queens from her native Mexico in 1981 and shared an apartment with 20 fellow transgender Latina immigrants. She later opened her own legal fund to assist Latinx LGBTQ community members. For decades, she worked as an educator in HIV-testing , syringe exchange , and other programs with LGBTQ community organizations citywide, including Translatina Network, the Latino Commission on AIDS, the AIDS Center of Queens County, and Community Healthcare Network New York City.
In December 2019, the Amida Care Fund at Stonewall Community Foundation awarded Colectivo Intercultural TRANSgrediendo a grant based on their outstanding work to address HIV/AIDS in LGBTQ communities throughout New York City.
“Lorena worked as a tireless and longtime advocate for immigrants, sex workers, and people of transgender experience,” said Doug Wirth, President and CEO of Amida Care. “She was a great friend to Amida Care and a beautiful and bright light in our world. She was compassion in action, and her powerful life-filled impacts will live on. May she rest in power.”
Lorena was an emergency contact for several Amida Care members, and it wasn’t uncommon for her to help someone in need in the middle of the night. She was known to take people who had just received an HIV-positive diagnosis directly from an HIV testing center to a clinic to make sure they received care.
“Lorena Borjas has made an incredible contribution to the trans movement of modern times. She has worked with countless communities and has served as a powerful think tank for many providers in New York,” said Cristina Herrera, CEO and Founder of Translatina Network. “She will also be remembered as a friend, a sister and a mom to many in our community.”
Lorena was honored in five statewide proclamations and by civic leaders ranging from state Attorney General Letitia James and former NYC Mayor David Dinkins to the Queens Borough President.
In Lorena’s own words, “Que nadie nos quite las ganas de luchar, luchemos hasta el ultimo momento de nuestra vida”- “Let no one take away our desire to fight, let’s fight until the last moment of our life.”