(CNN)Even as Lorena Borjas was feeling ill and waiting on Covid-19 test results, she was worried about how transgender immigrants would cope with the pandemic.
That, according to her friends and chosen family, was typical of Borjas, a transgender Latinx activist from Queens who spent decades advocating for people from marginalized communities. Despite numerous challenges and traumas she faced in her personal life, she never took a rest from fighting for transgender women, undocumented immigrants, sex workers and those living with HIV/AIDS.
On Monday around 5:22 a.m., Borjas, 59, died from complications due to Covid-19 at Coney Island Hospital, according to her close friend Cecilia Gentili.
Her loss has inspired tributes from countless activists and leaders, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Attorney General Letitia James, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and blogger Monica Roberts.
"Lorena spent her life tirelessly fighting and supporting our trans sisters, making sure they were treated with dignity and respect they deserve," Make the Road New York, an organization that fights for immigrant and working class communities, said in a statement. "We will truly miss her. May she rest in power and love."
She was a fighter and a leader
Borjas was like a mother to Gentili, she said -- one of many people in Queens' transgender Latinx community who shared that sentiment.
"You could aspire to be like her but you clearly know you won't be like her because you are not as selfless as she is," Gentili told CNN.
For more than 25 years, Borjas spent her days serving people in marginalized communities in whatever ways she could.
"Lorena brought light to us when we were living through a very dark time here in New York," said Cristina Herrera, founder and CEO of Translatina Network and a friend of Borjas' since 1987. "She brought us light when we were dealing with the crack epidemic, when we were dealing with the AIDS crisis, dealing with ch