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LYRIC Founder Carmen Vázquez Remembered as “Champion of Economic and Social Justice”

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LYRIC Founder Carmen Vázquez
Remembered as “Champion of Economic and Social Justice”

Longtime LGBTQ Advocate & Activist
Died from COVID-19 January 27 in New York City

29 January 2021 – San Francisco:  Carmen Vázquez, who died on January 27 in New York City from complications due to COVID, is remembered as a “champion of social justice” for her work in helping found LYRIC ( and creative “safes spaces and critical services for LGBTQ youth.” She was 72.

“LYRIC is deeply saddened by Carmen Vázquez’s passing. Carmen was one of the community leaders that founded LYRIC in 1988 to create safer spaces and provide critical services for LGBTQQ youth,” said a statement on behalf of the LYRIC staff and board.  “As a long-time LGBTQ activist and organizer, Carmen worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others.  We thank Carmen for her remarkable contributions to our community and the greater social justice movement.”

In addition to her work on behalf of LYRIC, Vázquez, a butch lesbian, was the founding director of the Women’s Building in San Francisco and the LGBT Health & Human Services Network, a coalition of over 55 organizations and groups in New York advocating for LGBTQ health and human services.

“Carmen was a tireless champion of economic and social justice,” said LYRIC Interim Executive Director Toni Newman. “Her death would always have been a great loss to our community. Coming now during COVID, and because of COVID, is yet another example of how marginalized communities are at risk from the current pandemic.”

LYRIC is a leader in the San Francisco Bay Area offering safe spaces, workforce development, healthcare navigation, individual counseling, and group-based community building to marginalized low-income LGBTQQ+ youth.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, LYRIC has continued its vital work for LGBTQQ youth in our community. LYRIC’s mission is to build community and inspire positive social change through education enhancement, career trainings, health promotion, and leadership development with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQQ) youth, their families, and allies of all races, classes, genders, and abilities. For more information and to make a donation, go to