Felicia was born male in San Angelo, Texas. But her struggle with her identity began when she was just 5 years old. Even then, she knew she was different. Felicia spent her early years searching for herself. She moved to San Francisco at age 14 and soon discovered the Tenderloin district. At age 18, she joined the U.S. Navy and went to Vietnam. After 6 months, she accepted that she was gay, but the service did not. She was dishonorably discharged.
Felicia returned to San Francisco and rediscovered her tribe. As a member of the LGBT community, her commitment to advocacy took hold after the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot. In 1974, she transitioned to female in support of living her truth.
She lost her own battle with HIV/AIDS nearly 34 years after her diagnosis.
But Felicia “Flames” Elizondo is still here. As a Trans activist and volunteer, she created this panel in memory of the Tenderloin Girls and to honor the Trans community in San Francisco. In fact, all their spirits still live on in the 80 panels she made for the National Aids Memorial Quilt.
Felicia’s fight for Trans visibility isn’t over, but it is a fight we will win.
It's time to Change the Pattern in the fight to end HIV and AIDS in the Southern United States. Be a part of this new initiative!