Jackson Heights street corner renamed after LGBT activist
A Jackson Heights street corner will be renamed this Saturday to honor the memory of the late activist Guillermo Vasquez, who championed the rights of the Latino and LGBT communities and those fighting HIV/AIDS.
The southeast corner of 77th Street and Broadway will be renamed Guillermo Vasquez Corner during a special ceremony at the Elmhurst Hospital Auditorium.
The Colombian-born Vasquez spent his adult life in JacksonHeights and impacted his community through his many volunteer efforts.
After battling complications from AIDS, Vasquez died in 1996.
Councilman Daniel Dromm, who drafted legislation for the name change, fondly remembers the activist, who helped him organize the first Queens Pride Parade.
“I remember how hospitable he was, at a time when even gay people doubted whether we would pull off the parade,” said Dromm. “He was so kind and reassuring.”
Dromm said the name change ceremony comes at the perfect time, as Colombian Independence Day is nearing and it’s a fitting tribute to a man who did so much for others.