Julio Rivera Corner

Julio Rivera (1961 – 1990) was a Bronx born Puerto Rican, who lived in Jackson Heights and worked as a bartender. On July 2, 1990, Rivera was brutally murdered in the nearby schoolyard of PS 69, by three individuals who targeted him because he was gay. He was just 29 years old.

Julio's death mobilized LGBTQ+ activism in Jackson Heights and all of Queens, candlelight vigils and protests were held by the community. As a result of grassroots organizing and media attention, the city eventually re-classified his death as a hate crime and put a reward out for the arrest of the killers.

To commemorate Julio Rivera’s death and raise the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community in Jackson Heights, the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee established the Queens Pride Parade in 1993, with a route that includes what is now known as Julio Rivera Corner.

Julio Rivera’s death was a turning point for LGBTQ+ activism in Queens, and led to the formation of several important organizations, some of which include Queens Gays and Lesbians United (Q-GLU), the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens, and Queens Pride House.


Gonzalez, David, “At Site of Gay Man’s Murder, a Street Corner Acknowledges Its Past,” New York Times, March 20, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/21/nyregion/at-site-of-gay-mans-murder-a-queens-street-corner-acknowledges-its-past.html

Martinez, Arianna, “30 Years Later: Reflections on Julio Rivera’s Life and Death,” The Latinx Project, June 25, 2020,  https://www.latinxproject.nyu.edu/intervenxions/nbsp30-years-later-reflections-on-julio-riveras-life-and-death

“Julio Rivera,” Find A Grave, accessed May 23, 2023, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/104093053/julio-rivera