The NYPD have reported that Osvaldo Gomez, known as the colorful Ms. Colombia to many New Yorkers, was found dead in the ocean off of Jacob Riis Beach in Queens.
“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.”
— Adam Nelson (@workhousepr) October 4, 2018
“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,” Dromm added.
Ms. Colombia was featured in the digital series No Your City, where she told her story of moving to Queens from Colombia in 1975. In the ’80s she was diagnosed with HIV and began living her life “day by day.”
“You have to live day to live. Past is the past. Use the present because you don’t have tomorrow. Nobody has tomorrow. Tomorrow is from the gods,” Ms. Colombia says in the short.
“I like to be free… They ask me, are you homo? Are you gay, are you lesbian? And I say, no, I am human being from another planet,” she explains.
According to the New York Daily News there were “no apparent signs of trauma and he is believed to have drowned” in the water off of Jacob Riis Beach, an area of Rockaway Beach popular with the LGBTQ community.
A vigil for Ms. Colombia will be announced in the coming days.