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LGBT trailblazer Jose Julio Sarria honored on sixth anniversary of his death

Nicole Murray-Ramirez placed a wreath at Sarria's final resting place in San Francisco.
Photo credit:
Nicole Murrary-Ramirez

Six years ago on August 19 World War II veteran and proud Latino, Jose Julio Sarria died at the age of 91, today he continues to be a legendary LGBTQ icon.

In 1961 Sarria became the first openly gay candidate to run for public office, paving the way for others such as US Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Gov. Polis of Colorado, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, California Sen. President Toni Atkins, State Assemblyman Todd  Gloria, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend Indiana, Harvey Milk and many other LGBTQ elected officials. 

In part, the documentary "50 Years of Fabulous" chronicles the life of Sarria and his work in the Imperial Court System, a charitable organization which to this day continues to raise money for the community and those in need. City Commissioner Nicole Murray-Ramirez who also appeared in the film traveled to Sarria's gravesite in Northern California to honor the trailblazer on Monday. 

Murray-Ramirez placed a wreath at Sarria's final resting place in San Francisco.

"Jose Julio Sarria was the Rosa Parks of the gay rights movement," stated Murray-Ramirez, who is also the Chair of the National GLBT Civil Right Network USA. "Indeed, Jose Sarria also founded the oldest LGBT organization in the world with the International Imperial Court System with chapters in 70 cities in USA Canada an Mexico."

Sarria named Murray-Ramirez his heir and successor and crowned her the Queen Mother of the Americas 12 years ago.