Julio Rivera, a 29-year-old gay man who lived and worked as a bartender in Jackson Heights, was lured to the schoolyard, steps away from the intersection of 78th Street and 37th Avenue corner in Jackson Heights, on July 2, 1990. Three white skinheads who wanted to “reclaim” their neighborhood from gays and homeless people set upon Julio Rivera, punched, clubbed and hammered him in a darkened Jackson Heights schoolyard and stabbed him to death.
Local gay activists founded the Queens Pride Parade in 1992 to commemorate Julio Rivera’s death and raise the visibility of the LGBT community in Jackson Heights. Rivera’s murder resembled the deaths of at least a dozen other gay people killed in the neighborhood between 1970-1990, that had not ever been solved or prosecuted.
This piece is a map of the Jackson Heights Historic District in memory of Julio Rivera, combined with blueprints of different apartments I’ve lived in Queens. It was a site piece for the the group exhibition Off-Brand organized by local artists called at A.R.T. (Art Retail Therapy), a creative community art space located at 84-26 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights in 2022.