Remembering Christina Santiago

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Christina Santiago, an LGBT advocate, dot429 member, and manager of programming for Chicago’s Howard Brown Health Center’s Lesbian Community Care Project, died Aug. 13 when strong winds toppled a concert stage at the Indiana State Fair, killing five.

Chicago’s Windy City Times reports that Santiago’s partner, Alisha Marie Brennon, was among the 45 injured. Brennon was expected to survive, a friend said. She had surgery Sunday night.

Concertgoers in Indianapolis, Ind., were waiting for country music duo Sugarland to take the stage when strong winds collapsed the stage Saturday night. Weather.com reported that winds were between 50-70 mph. at the fair.

Santiago, 29, was among those killed.

Santiago, a self-identified Puerto Rican lesbian and feminist activist, grew up in the Bronx in New York City and received a degree in women’s studies and sociology from the University of New York at Albany.  

Just a year after starting her work at Howard Brown Health Center, Santiago was honored with a Windy City Times “30 under 30” award for her work as women’s healthcare advocate in 2007.

In addition to her position at Howard Brown Health Center, Santiago was active in Amigas Latinas as board programming chair and helped organize Dyke March Chicago. In May, Planned Parenthood of Illinois gave Santiago its Bright Horizons Award.  

Dozens of friends posted messages on Facebook about the incident, and news traveled fast in the LGBT community Sunday. A memorial was planned quickly for 5 p.m. that day at HBHC/LCCP. An additional memorial will be held soon.

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