Christina Santiago

Chicago’s LGBT community is in mourning after a leading lesbian activist, Christina Santiago, was tragically killed in Saturday’s stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis.

Santiago (29), program manager of Howard Brown Health Center’s Lesbian Community Care Project, was attending the event with her partner Alisha Brennon.

As they waited for a performance by country band Sugarland a strong wind toppled the stage over onto the audience.

Santiago was among five killed, while Brennon and dozens of others were injured.

Shocking footage of the stage collapsing was broadcast around the world. Brennon is reported to be in a critical condition in hospital.

“The sudden and devastating loss of Christina has left the entire community, including her Howard Brown Health Center family, heartbroken,” said Jamal M. Edwards, President and CEO of Howard Brown Health Center.

“Christina was an amazing woman – one of our very brightest stars – who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of women, particularly lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer women.”

The centre said that it is discussing plans to establish a memorial fund in Santiago’s honour to support the continuation of the work to which she dedicated her life.

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