Maritxa Vidal, a leader in the Chicago trans community, has died at age 64.
She passed away June 9.
As a child, Vidal immigrated from Cuba with her family hoping to find a better life. Vidal is a longtime advocate for human rights, specifically the rights of LGBT individuals. She was the president of the Chicago chapter of the TransLatin@ Coalition. She was also the director of health education, community outreach, and marketing at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center-VIDA/SIDA and had been with the organization since 2001.
In 2015, she became the first transgender person to receive the Harvey Milk Award for contributions to LGBTQ equality. Also, Vidal was inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame and honored by the program Vives Q in 2016.
Chicago has lost three trans icons in recent weeks: Vidal, June LaTrobe and Gloria Allen.
Vidal was the loving sister of Jorge Vidal and Natalia Vidal, the cherished daughter of Ana Vidal and a loved friend to many.
On Vidal's Facebook page, Hada Matias posted, "What an amazing life you have lived and will continue to live in our hearts, Maritxa Vidal. It has been an honor to know you and may your legacy live on you have helped our trans Latinx community in so many ways. It is up to us now to pay it forward."
Arrangements were entrusted to Chicagoland Cremation Options of Schiller Park, Illinois. There was a goodbye ceremony for Vidal on June 15, 2022, at the TransChicago Empowerment Center, 2753 W. Division St.