New York LGBTQ icon, Ms. Colombia (whose birth name was Osvaldo Gomez) was found dead in the water at Jacob Riis Beach in Queens. According to New York Daily News, here were no apparent signs of trauma, and it's believed that she drowned.
“She was beloved by all who saw her in the streets, at parades, and in the neighborhood wearing her colorful outfits and a bird on her shoulder,” Council Member Daniel Dromm told The Jackson Heights Post. “Her cheerfulness and ability to bring a smile to the faces of all who met her will be missed by all New Yorkers...While life did not always treat Ms. Colombia with all the respect she was due, New Yorkers will remember Ms. Colombia as a hero to everyone.”
In 2015, Ms. Colombia was featured in No Your City, a docu-series that profiled unique characters in New York. It explored her HIV diagnosis in the '80s and how she decided to live "day by day." In New York, she felt free to live the life she wanted.
“I like to be free," she says in the video. "They ask me, are you homo? Are you gay, are you lesbian? And I say, no, I am human being from another planet."
A vigil for Ms. Colombia will be announced soon. Watch her episode of No Your City below: