Nancy Valverde, iconic LGBTQ+ activist in Los Angeles, dies at 92

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LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Nancy Valverde, an iconic activist and pioneer in the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights, died Monday evening at her home in Hollywood, her family said. She was 92.

Valverde, who dedicated her life to make Los Angeles more inclusive, was born in New Mexico in 1932.

She moved to Los Angeles with her family when she was about 9 years old. Her store, Nancy’s Barber shop, was a safe place where young people could speak freely about their sexuality.

“I can never say ‘no’ to the community,” she told ABC7 in an October interview. “Anything they asked for — if I can do it, I’ll do it. Because I know when I needed help, I had help.”

Many consider Valverde to be a local legend, with a long list of accolades including a Purple Lily Award and other honors, including a downtown LA intersection named after her.

The lifelong activist was honored last year by the city of Los Angeles when Nancy Valverde Square was dedicated at 2nd and Main streets in downtown.

Her death was confirmed by her sister. The cause of death was not given.

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