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Lesbian Advocate Killed in Indiana Stage Collapse

Lesbian Advocate Killed in Indiana Stage Collapse


Christina Santiago, who worked as manager of programming for the Lesbian Community Care Project at the Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago, was killed Saturday in the concert stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair that severely injured her partner, Alisha Brennon.

According to a statement from the Howard Brown Health Center, Santiago, 29, worked at the LGBT health care organization for almost six years and was instrumental in the expansion of women's health services. She received the highest award for a staff member last year and was named to the Windy City Times' 30 Under 30 list in 2007.

"Her passion and leadership for caring for others will be deeply missed by the Howard Brown family and the LGBTQ community," said Jamal M. Edwards, president and CEO of the Howard Brown Health Center, in the statement. "Her star is irreplaceable both at HBHC and in the community."

Howard Brown Health Center and Amigas Latinas hosted a vigil Sunday evening to mourn Christina and show support for Alisha, who remains hospitalized in critical condition. According to the The Indianapolis Star, the couple had been together for two years.

Five people were killed and dozens injured in Indianapolis when the stage rigging and lights collapsed as the crowd waited for the country band Sugarland to perform. Officials continue to investigate what role the weather may have played, with wind gusts that exceeded 60 mph, or whether state fair officials appropriately heeded a severe thunderstorm watch issued a few hours before the nighttime concert.

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