Lourdes Alvarez



What I know about Lourdes Alvarez comes from three short mentions of her activities in the mid to late 1960s in Marc Stein’s excellent study on Philadelphia’s LGBTQ social and political histories, City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves: Lesbian and Gay Philadelphia, 1945-1972.

She is documented as a friend of activist Ada Bello and, like Bello, as applying for US citizenship in the midst of participating in political and social activities and actions in the LGBTQ movement in Philadelphia. For some period of time during between 1968-72, she served as a chair of the Homophile Action League (HAL). I don’t know when that was or how long she served.

While monuments and historical markers are typically erected to people with an unusually long and publicly-recognized record of accomplishments, I am also interested in the impact made by seemingly slight or fleeting participation in a political movement. It is clear to me that political movements make an impact through the widespread commitments of many people who are willing to risk their job, their friendships or family relations, their safety, their citizenship applications even if for only a few months, or for one week or for one day.