Vargas, a pioneer of gay and Latino causes, succumbed to
cancer at her Los Angeles home Saturday.
Vargas was an
activist and scholar who advocated for lesbians of color.
Born in Connecticut and raised in El Salvador, Vargas
was a founding member of Lesbianas LatinaAmericas in
1974. She was integral to the creation of many other
groups that fought for gay women of color.
For the past four
years Vargas worked as head librarian and archivist at
the Chicano Studies Research Center at the University of
California, Los Angeles. She also was an editor and
contributor on numerous gay history books, including
1997's Lambda Literary Award–winner Queers in
Space: Communities, Public Places, Sites of
Resistance. In the late '80s and early '90s, Vargas ran
the Los Angeles Public Library Chicano Resource
A memorial to her
life is planned for September 29 at West Hollywood's
Metropolitan Community Church. (The Advocate)