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She does remember that things didn't start getting easier for queers in San Francisco until the '70s — the cross-dressing law was repealed in 1974 — but then by the '80s, AIDS would soon devastate the city.
Flames, HIV-positive since 1987, would then get involved in organizations battling the disease.
But when we heard about the Tenderloin and Compton's, we knew where to go."Whether because of the drugs she was dabbling in then or simply the fact that it was 50 years ago and never recorded for posterity, Flames can't remember if she was at the cafeteria when the violence broke out.Afterwards she spent a few years working as a court interpreter in Santa Clara County, Cecilia has spent much of her adult life advocating for health related issues affecting the LGBT community.This has included working as a HIV test counselor at UCSF AIDS Health Project, HIV Program Coordinator at API American Health Forum and as Deputy Director at the Transgender Law Center.Additionally, Cecilia is the first transgender woman and first Asian to be elected to lead the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Celebration, and the first transgender woman as well as the first person living openly with HIV to Chair the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.Cecilia founded San Francisco Transgender Advocacy and Mentorship (SF TEAM) to provide events for the transgender community through the San Francisco LGBT Community Center.