|Birth: ||Apr. 21, 1961|
|Death: ||May 22, 1994|
San Diego County
The long running war on the civil liberties of gays and lesbians found a ready opponent in Jim Mitsuo Cua, a loyal soldier to the cause of sexual, racial and gender equality. Jim furthered the cause of minority rights, founded a residential shelter for people with AIDS, served on the California board of the National Organization for Women and helped fight racism within the community by forming several racially based GLBT support organizations. His brief, yet undeniably intense, battle against inequality brought him to the forefront of the San Diego political scene. Even amongst the rare breed that is the San Diego activist, Jim stood out from the rest of the crowd, and his life took on the theme of a political wrecking ball, breaking down social and racial barriers.
Jim came from a mixed family; his mother, Mitsuko Sonomura was first generation Japanese while his father, Allejho Lopez Cua was a second generation Filipino. Born in Honolulu April 21, 1961, Jim realized he was gay at a young age and managed to escape from a repressive life of religious funda- mentalism. At twenty three he started what would become an impressive resume of political involvement by joining the San Diego Democratic Club. Two years later when he was diag- nosed with HIV, Jim became even more determined to right the wrongs he saw in everyday life. His involvement in the San Diego Democratic Party increased to an industrial scale, and soon he worked within the organization as the program director. It was during this time that he also helped found the Harvey Milk Democratic Club, an offshoot of the local party that dealt specifically with issues relating to GLBT culture.
With his background, Jim understood how dislocated a minority can feel even within the GLBT community. To counter this culture of isolationism, he led one of San Diego's first forums on racism among gays and lesbians. This discus- sion led to the formation of GLASS: Gay and Lesbian Asian Social Support in 1988. In the following year he helped jump-start LAGADU; Lesbians and Gays of African Descent United. It was during this watershed period in his life that his political involvement skyrocketed; he became involved with and served on the California board of NOW, and at the same time he organized the first gay and lesbian contingent for the San Diego annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade. In 1991, he was instrumental in setting up a gay and lesbian advisory board to San Diego school officials and served on former San Diego Mayor Maureen O'Connor's Asian Advisory Board.
In addition to his untiring work for gays and lesbians, Jim also gave his support to the WomanCare Clinic in Hillcrest, offering his time as a security escort to women in need. This clinic provided women with family planning, counseling and medical services at a time when it was both politically and physically dangerous to do so.
Jim saw an opportunity and from 1992 to 1994 he co- founded St. Martin de Porres, a residential shelter specifically for those living with the virus. In one of his final letters, Jim spoke of his work, urging others to follow on in his footsteps. "I have dedicated a decade of my life to the cause of social justice. As you have loved me, you have loved my causes. Please support our future. Please support this vital work."
In his honor, the James M. Cua Award for Gay and Lesbian Rights was established by the San Diego Foundation for Change (formerly Liberty Hill-San Diego), where Jim had served as an energetic and respected board member for nearly six years. Jim died May 22, 1994 from AIDS related complications.
My high school friend and hero. (Gennaphyr)
Cremated, Ashes scattered.
Maintained by: Pat McArron
Originally Created by: Gennaphyr
Record added: Aug 13, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 95294875
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Hi Jim, i'm a couple days late giving you the news, but guess what? On Friday, June 26, 2015, the SCOTUS legalized gay marriage for all Americans. I love you and I celebrate in your name and your honor.|
Added: Jun. 28, 2015
Added: Jun. 2, 2015
Added: Mar. 29, 2013
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