An iconic leader, Baza made a huge impact on San Diego's LGBTQ and arts communities
Larry Baza, a beloved and longtime San Diego LGBTQ activist, died on Saturday due to complications from COVID-19. He was 76-years old.
The San Diego Union-Tribune obituary is here.
Baza's passing sent shockwaves through the community and a sampling of social media tributes is below.
Such an unbelievable loss. Larry Baza made San Diego, California, and the world a better place. A fierce, open hearted, kind warrior for the Arts and the LGBTQ community. An inspiration and a good friend to so many.
We are all still reeling from this devastating loss. A true gentleman and a first class arts treasure. You have all shared so beautifully that I can't add anything to the heartfelt and heartbreaking outpouring. Here is the official tribute. Love to Tom.
We are morning the loss of Larry Baza, a great humanitarian and cultural leader. I cannot think of one significant positive thing in the last 40 years in San Diego Arts and Culture, progressive politics, and Chicano and LGBTQ rights that happened without Larry’s leadership. California has lost a beautiful, kind and brilliant man. Larry and Tom’s decades of cultural development work and support of local artists helped build our cultural landscape. I hope we can carry on Larry’s humanitarian efforts with the tireless energy, dignity and great joy he brought to the world. Our hearts go out to Tom and to their family.
So heartbroken to learn of the loss of Compadre Larry Baza to Covid. I cherished Larry's greetings--warm smile, bear hug and "hola Comadre," from the days when he was director of the Centro Cultural de la Raza and supported Las Comadres. I wish I had a good photo. He was such a generous soul, creative thinker, and stalwart supporter of the arts and LGBTQ communities in San Diego.
Our San Diego LGBTQ, arts, and Democratic Party communities lost a gentle giant and a dedicated activist yesterday to COVID. Larry Baza was one of those rare individuals who lit up any room he entered, and who was universally loved and admired. This loss is really hitting so many people in the greater San Diego community extra hard this weekend. May his kind and gentle soul rest in eternal peace, and may his spirit soar forever.
God indeed needed some beautiful Angels as now we indeed mourn but yet celebrate the wonderful lives of LARRY BAZA, GENE BURKARD, GEORGE MURPHY......three true GENTLEMEN of the old school:Positive.....Kind....Giving.....Involved.....and LOVED by so many many many people.....who ever they met that person knew immediately that they were the "real deal".....GENTLEMEN .....with hearts of gold who so loved there Coummity State Country that decades of there activism has left it a better place for entire new generations and THEY MUST.....THEY AND OTHER OF OUR TAILBLAIRS AND PIONEERS MUST NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. I met LARRY.....GENE....GEORGE in the early 1970s......and I thank the LORD. for giving me the privilege and yes the HONOR of there friendships....we will meet again my three wonderful "GOLDEN GIRLS"......and yes...."thank you for being my friend".
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, a private service will be held at Glen Abbey Memorial Park in Bonita. A public celebration of life will be held when COVID-19 protocols deem it safe to gather. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the San Diego Food Bank.