Oct. 4, 2018 By Tara Law
Ms. Colombia, a colorful and beloved figure in the Jackson Heights LGBT community, has been found dead, Council Member Daniel Dromm has announced.
Ms. Colombia, whose birth name was Osvaldo Gomez, was found dead in the waters off Jacob Riis Park, Dromm’s office said. No foul play is currently suspected, although the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has yet to determine the cause of her death.
Dromm said that he remembered seeing her in many different parades across the city, including at the first Queens Pride Parade.
“She was beloved by all who saw her in the streets, at parades, and in the neighborhood wearing her colorful outfits and a bird on her shoulder,” Dromm said. “Her cheerfulness and ability to bring a smile to the faces of all who met her will be missed by all New Yorkers.”
He continued, “While life did not always treat Ms. Colombia with all the respect she was due, New Yorkers will remember Ms. Colombia as a hero to everyone.”
Ms. Colombia was featured in the docuseries No Your City, which profiled unusual New York City Characters, in 2015.
In the film, she revealed that she was a lawyer and had moved to Queens from Colombia in 1975.
After she was diagnosed with HIV in the 1980s, she decided to live “day by day,” she explained.
“I like to be free… They ask me, are you homo? Are you gay, are you lesbian? And I say, no, I am human being from another planet,” she said in the video.
Ms. Colombia said that she loved New York because she felt free to live the life she wanted.
Dromm said that his office is reaching out to community organizations to plan a vigil for Ms. Colombia, which will be announced soon.
My brother in-law, oswaldo gomez”??missColombia. Was always just as genuine and loving! So many people were doing documentaries on him ! He was just as popular in Medellin Colombia! We miss him dreadfully. So much Live missing now
No foul play is currently suspected?
This is a person who was in love with life are you telling me he killed himself? No I don’t believe that something’s not right this needs to be investigated!
It says she was diagnosed with HIV in the 80’s in the article… I’m not a doctor but I’m pretty sure thats the cause of death
He was a human being who only wanted to live life his way and at the same time bring smiles and joy to everyone he met. Ive known him personally for 35 years and I can only say good things about him. May you rest in peace my dear friend. Bring your colorful life into heaven and spread joy and happiness as you did in your life.
Poor sick man.
Mi Querida Luz clarita,”La Reina de columbia, es con muchos tristen me despise de ustedes desandole Paz eternal y que este en mejor lugar, usted era unica con sus chistes hasta la persona que se econtraba con deprecion se le hiba de solo escucharla, Gracias a Dios vivio su vida como quise y ahora deja un gran Bancio para todo aquel que tubo el placer de conoserla Ballard con Dios y descanse en paz usted hiso historia, y como tal sera inorvidable!!Descansa en paz Miss, Colombia!!Se le extrallara mucho en el PRIDE PARADE y en todos los eventos que siempre estubo presented RIP
“May she rest in peace” He looks like a man to me wtf y’all talking about?
Ms. Colombia always made me and my pals laugh , he caught me giving the dog doritas and said i was “spoiling her” , whenever we was down he would make us laugh , seriously queens lost an icon where is the vigil so i can pay my respects … my dad will be heartbroken he was good friends with her.
I can’t believe Miss Columbia is gone. He brought me great joy, and I adored giving it back to her, because He and She (all pronouns embraced) LOVED to be joyously announced. Years back the NYTimes reported on the Thanksgiving Day parade following Hurricane Sandy, and how a whole seated section of Breezy Point residents sat glumly for hours because Breezy Point was nearly obliterated.
That is, until someone noticed MISS!
(And little Chocha!)
…sashaying up right behind Santa’s sled, and the whole depressed section began cheering…wildly!
Now we mark the loss and celebrate the life, the power and the joy!
I’ll never forget you, Miss Columbia. I know you had pain these last few years, but I dearly hope you passed in peace in those Jacob Riis waters we both loved so much!
no more fashion shows during GMHC dinners! No shocking and glorious wardrobe changes! No more “where the hell did that come from” insanely pithy shade and repartee!
A spark of Divinity has left us.
You Rest In Power And Glory, La Paisa!
I will never forget the joy you brought in my life every time I saw you. You will truly be missed in Jackson Heights…
REST IN HEAVEN
NYC Pride will be a little less colorful and a little less meaningful without her. She knew how to take her pride and use it in a way that would make us all smile. I hope she always knew how much of an icon she was to all of us as she walked the streets of New York.
Dear Ms. Colombia, we will surely miss you, but most importantly, you will always be remembered for your sweetness and grace, and never forgotten, for you leave behind a trace of beautiful and colorful memories in all of our hearts.
R.I.P. Ms. Colombia.
I am sadden to here of Ms. Colombia death. I will miss seeing and talking to her at pride marches and other parades around the city. [Larry Nelson Board member Queens Chapter of PFLAG]
saw Ms. Colombia last week looked good as always, dang now im crying, and im a grown ass 33 y/o man
Ms. Colombia….you were a representative of tolerance in a time when tolerance was not so prevalent. As a kid I remember you riding your bike around Jackson Heights, a smile on your face…but many more smiles on the people that you passed by. Although I never got a chance to speak to you, I always respected you. I’m heartbroken that you’re gone, because you were Jackson Heights. An example of what Jackson Heights has always been….a place of open arms that welcomes all. May you Rest In Peace….Jackson Heights will not forget you.
Oh the sweet memories of her! Shall miss such a beautiful person. XO
So very sad. I looked forward to seeing her every year at the parades and in Coney Island where I had the privilege to FINALLY take a picture with her and her colorful dog and her boyfriend. Does anyone know anything about her bird and dog? They didn’t mention the boyfriend. Please, if anyone knows when and where they will hold her Memorial please reply to my comment. RIP Ms. Columbia I will truly miss your bright colorful personality. There should be more like you in this world. You lived your life FREE! You’re my hero!!!
So sad to read this!! She truly was a wonderful human being!! She brought such joy to this world and will be sorely missed!!
This person was so nice and me this on all parade I worked if there is any service please let me know I will be there to pay my respect and donate what I can please let me know
Always such a kind and beautiful part of our day when he visited The Animal Medical Center with his pets. Open hearted and such a lovely person with every soul she met, a true icon and one of the best parts of the city we love. She left a smile in our hearts that will last forever.
Please if anyone knows where services will be can you please let me know?
Please if anyone knows where the services will be can you please let me know
So sad to hear “La Reyna” has passed. I guarded Riis Park for years and Riis will never be same without her. I will never forget seeing her stroll the beach singing “ Hay Viena la Reyna”. RIP “Reyna” Aloha!
Thank you for being you and bringing the joy you brought me to so many in the world! You always made my summers in Rockaway comfortable, I always knew my people were close. Bless You!
Sad but I really want to know what happen to his dog and his bird. If anyone know please lete know?
I feel really sad, such a great human being, full of joy for life. Thank you Paisa for all your positive energy.
I knew Ms. Colombia from 20+ years ago and loved him. Yes, I used the correct pronoun-that is how he chose to self-identify. I am so sad that we lost that sparkly spirit of love and joy.
There are a lot of sick animals in Jackson Heights. I wish they would get the mental health counseling that they so desperately need.
The above comment is a plant to incite racial division. Pay it NO MIND
We will miss you Jose, but we know you will make Angels laugh in heaven, always love you, Inga
Ms. Colombia always had a joke or a couple up her sleeve. I’ve known her since the Vaseline Alley days. I’m glad my world met with hers. Awesome human being who always called me “boricua”. R.I.P and thanks for the laughs?❤️
Sorry to know she is gone. Her sense of humor kept her alive in such an energetic spirit. I use to see her in parades, Rockaway and in Jackson Hts. She died a happy soul by freely doing what she loved and making others laugh. Rest in heaven You will be missed because you were unique.
This is the saddest news I have ever seen. RIP
So sad to see another J.H. character go. At least he got recognition while still alive… there’s that other guy, with the anti-smoking messages on his T-shirts, who is still going around. He is been a recognizable J.H. character for at least 30 years! Neighbors should really come together and help him out…. he appears to need such help ?
Does anyone know what happened to his parrot? The poor bird must be feeling very lonely without his partner…
Hell yea, 9/11 doesn’t compare.
So sad such a humble and kind and big hearted person loved always seeing him and the poodles S.I.P your in a better place with God
SHE. Respect her pronouns, even in death.
La Paisa explicitly emraced all pronouns.
May SHE Rest In Peace. Happiness and peace was found being Ms. Colombia. Such a nice soul.
Que en paz descanse
Alguien sabe de sus servicios funebres donde por favor
Please if anyone knows of the services of Arrangements when he will be put please,please let me know I love this man he was an amazing human being he made me smile he made me happy a smile all the time, I inquired on him all summer on him my heart ❤ is broken may he rest in peace please anyone knows anything keep me posted and thank you so very much. Rest in peace Osvaldo ???
Ms. Colombia used the pronoun SHE. Please honor her by using it too. Thank you
Please do not speak of La Paisa’s feelings unless quoting directly. I spoke with him hundreds of times, she expressly embraced all prounouns and ***NEVER*** practiced “call-out culture’.
We met at the first Jackson Heights Halloween Parade.
It turned out he lived in the building next to my father’s.
I just saw him last week, took his hand and told him how wonderful it was that I kept running into him.
RIP Ms. COLOMBIA!
ETERNALLY HEAVENLY REST MS. COLUMBIA , A ICON OF OUR LGBTQ COMMUNITY ; YOU WILL BE MISSED !!!
Jackson Heights Post Office 10/5 @ 7 pm
Per Daniel Dromm
Is this for his funeral?
Our colorful Colombian flower! Your light on this planet will be sorely missed.
Watch out after us down here from your lofty perch in Heaven.
We used to see him on Riis Beach every Summer and take photos with him, his dog and bird. He was a warm human being….May he R.I.P. So sorry to hear this news.
R.I.P. We will miss you!
Please if anyone knows of the services of Arrangements me May when he will be put please please let me know I love this man he was an amazing human being he made me smile he made me happy a tree speech I inquired on him all summer my heart is broken may he rest in peace please anyone knows anything keep me posted and thank you so very much
Wow no lo puede creer nadie será como tú fuiste único siempre en todos las paradas no importa su nacionalidad siempre estará en mi corazón RiP
Jackson Heights Post Office 10/5 @ 7 pm
Per Daniel Dromm
May you rest in peace, miss Colombia. Xoxox 🙁
Will miss you very much.
Never saw you with out a smile and a happy greeting to anyone
We go back a very long time.
My dear friend Miss you Your in a better place.
Ms. Columbia made New York City a much prettier, more interesting place. I am so sorry to hear she is gone. Rest in peace, dear one. Thank you for being who you are in such a bright and beautiful way.
Ms Columbia was a dear friend of mine WHO WILL BE SORELY MISSED IN THE CONEY ISLAND RIDES COMMUNITY HERE WE LOVED AND RESPECTED HER AND SHE DIDN’T SHED A TEAR FOR THOSE WHO DIDN’T WE ALSO MISS HER BELOVED POOCH WHO PASSED YEARS BEFORE HER REST IN PEACE MY GOOD FRIEND
I remember him/her from Coney Island… every summer he would be dancin’ on the boardwalk with his lil doggies and stuff…he will be missed…R.I.P.
Oh no! Goodbye Ms Columbia. I saw u at many parades. Then I moved to Rockaway & got to see u, ur tricolor poodle on the beach often & speak to u….found u were such a nice person! U made Rockaway & the world a more fun, colorful & diverse place!Thank you & RIP
Ms Columbia was a dear friend to me who will be sorely missed ALL OF CONEY ISLAND RIDES ADORED HER RESPECTED HER AND WE TRULY LOVED HER AND HER BEAUTIFUL DOG WHO PASSED YEARS BEFORE HER MAY SHE REST IN PEACE AS FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD WHO DIDN’T RESPECT HER SHE DIDN’T SHED A TEAR AS LONG AS WE CARED
Please give me vigil info, she was missed and loved by our organization.
Such a sad loss. Ms. Colombia brought smiles and joy to all who encountered her and was such a neighborhood staple.
I am saddened to read this news. Ms. Columbia was always very sweet to us at every Coney Island Mermaid Parade, with a warm smile and big heart. She will be sorely missed.
Thank you for the use of she pronoun but maybe reconsider the dead-naming?
Such a wonder and full of life. I’m very proud of her pride and the joy she brought us throughout the years.
Also, no disrespect, but it’s Ms. COLOMBIA (no U in it whatsoever).
That was his name. He at times dressed as both male or female. He lived by whatever mood struck him. I think if he were trying to present himself as a woman he probably would have shaved his beard. Maybe read up on his life and background before imposing your own perspective.
This politically correct nonsense has really gotten out of hand! He wasn’t transgender…get your facts straight.
Smiled whenever I saw her- at the Gay Parade, on the Coney Island Boardwalk, just walking the streets of Jackson Heights. Rest in Peace. You brought joy to many.
You will be extremely missed! Such a joyous person you were!
This is so so sad…what a beautiful light she had..and through her love for life, she will forever be remembered for being a example of living your best life!! May God bless you and guide to heaven where you will truly be free…love you always…
FYI..Per our discussion
May his soul, R.I.P.
Rest in Power Ms Colombia
Awww I live in Manhattan and I remember seeing her during any event that took place at the Flushing Meadows park. May she rest in peace.
So sad to hear this. She will be missed. May she rest in peac. Please let me know when the do the vigil for her. Would love to be there ty
Hace mucho ya lo extranaba, ya no era el mismo, 2 semanas atrás lo encontre en la calle Iba sin su lady atuendo, lo vi callado, quise saludarle y no pude, quieniba a decir que era la ultima vez que lo veria, te seguire extranando toda ka vida, descansa en Paz