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Maria Salazar, LGBTQ Chair LULAC

María Salazar (pronouns: she, her, they, them & their) is a Chicana@-Lesbiana-GenderBendng-Queer Advocate with a propensity to wear fabulous bow-ties. Salazar’s advocacy for equality, social justice and LGBTQ+ visibility goes back 30 years. In the 1990’s, while living in San Francisco, California, Salazar co-founded Ellas en Accion, a Latina-Lesbiana/Bisexual political action group, organized with Mujerio for Queer Latinas and served as Vice-President for the Harvey Milk Democratic Club. Salazar worked for Equal Rights Advocate, a woman-rights employment law firm and for Congressman Leon E. Panetta in Monterrey, California.

In 1997, Salazar relocated to San Antonio, Tejas with Jo Ann Castillo, her long-time partner (of 25 years) and wife (of 2 years). In the decade of 2000, Salazar worked as a community advocate for the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, a social-justice organization. In 2001, Maria obtained her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Salazar attended the City University of New York School of Law and received her law degree on 2006. While in New York, Salazar interned for the Empire State Pride Agenda and the Sylvia Rivera Transgender Law Project. Salazar returned to Texas and was licensed to practice law in 2007.

For the decade of 2010, worked as a solo-family law practitioner in her firm, Law Office of Maria Salazar. In her practice today, Salazar represents children and parents in child-abuse/child welfare custody suits. She is a member of the Children’s Court Ad Litem Association, the Mexican-American Bar Association and the Texas State Bar. In 2013, María organized with CAUSA, a broad-based coalition that successfully lobbied the City of San Antonio to pass a Non-Discrimination Ordinance prohibiting LGBTQ discrimination. Salazar is one of the founders of Orgullo de San Antonio, the first LGBT LULAC Council in South Texas. Salazar serves as President for Orgullo. In 2017, the LULAC-Region 15 recognized Salazar as “Advocate of the Year.” She is currently on the Executive Committee for San Antonio Stonewall Democrats. In 2018, Salazar was appointed to serve on Mayor Nirenberg’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee and continues to serve on this committee for the City of San Antonio. In 2020, in response to the legal needs from the social justice efforts of Black Lives Matter, Salazar along with other rebel lawyers, founded a local chapter with the National Lawyer’s League.

Salazar is a writer, often contributing to La Voz, a monthly periodical of San Antonio’s Esperanza Center. In 2004, three of her essays were published in The Panza Monologues (UT Press). Although a proud transplanted, San Antonio Southsider, Salazar has deep roots in Idaho and Oregon as a migrant farmworker where she worked the onion and beet fields in her youth and alongside her Tejano/Coahuilan parents, Aurelio y Raquel Salazar. In June of 2018, after 22 years as compañeras, María married her long-time partner, the Lovely Jo Ann Castillo, (Jo Ann herself is a Registered Oncology Nurse with years of service during the AIDS Pandemic and now with the COVID19 Pandemic). This marital occasion was witnessed by family and friends and one the duo thought would never happen in their lifetime. Salazar retirement plans include writing a collection of stories and memories entitled “Jotos Y Recuerdos.”

Panel Information

Friday, August 14

3:00 PM EST


Mi Gente, Siempre: Addressing Transphobia and Homophobia in the Latinx Community

Sponsor: AARP & HRC

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