Vázquez moved to San Francisco after graduation, where she lived and worked for nearly two decades, becoming a leading activist for issues ranging from immigrant rights to lesbian wellbeing.
While in San Francisco, Vázquez co-founded The Women’s House, became the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights Executive Director, and then the Lesbian and Gay Health Care Coordinator for the Department of Public Health of San Francisco.
She was also the co-founder and co-chair of the Central American Women’s Solidarity Network, Somos Hermanas.
In 2004, she was honored with an honorary degree by the CUNY School of Law. She has written her essays in many anthologies.
Since its founding in 2003, Carmen has served on the Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s advisory board and served as co-chair of the board of directors.
According to the National LGBTQTask Force, Carmen Vázquez, a lifelong LGBTQ and social justice activist, died Wednesday because of Covid-19-related complications.
Rea Carey, executive director of the task force, said in a statement. “The loss of Carmen tears open a hole in the heart of the LGBTQ+, social justice, immigration, reproductive justice, and sexual freedom movements, I’m deeply sad that one of our movement’s most brilliant activists is no longer with us. Rest in power, Carmen. We will continue your work for liberation.”
Breaking: we are deeply saddened at the death of Carmen Vàzquez, long-time #LGBTQ and social justice activist. @rea_carey said “The loss of Carmen tears open a hole in the heart of the LGBTQ+, social justice, immigration, reproductive justice, and sexual freedom movements. pic.twitter.com/ZmrDmLoDwX
We are heartbroken to learn of Carmen Vázquez’s passing. She was part of our family and a legacy as a founder and a member. We will deeply miss her humor and wit, dapper outfits, and unwavering commitment to racial and economic justice, sexual freedom, and LGBTQ liberation. pic.twitter.com/0Iljy44Qx3