Jorge Sanchez
1970 - 2020
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Jorge Sánchez
Oct 1, 1970 - Dec 11, 2020
San Francisco ethnographer Jorge Sánchez devoted his career to the gay and transgender Spanish-speaking community, creating awareness about self-care amid the HIV crisis, collecting stories, and helping foster acceptance among immigrant families for their queer children.

Sánchez had a hand in countless organizations supporting LGBTQ youth and promoting family unity. He investigated LGBTQ wellbeing with the Cesar Chavez Institute and the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality at San Francisco State University, and created an HIV prevention organization in Cartagena, Colombia, later adopted by the local health department. As part of his lead role in the Family Acceptance Project, he worked with ethnically, racially and religiously diverse families to help them learn to support their LGBTQ children.

Sánchez' incomparable interviewing skills were a key link between academic endeavors and community-based organizations, as he was uniquely able to recruit difficult-to-reach participants for many studies and projects.

Sánchez was co-founder of the public art group Cause Collective and helped create the Truth Booth, a giant traveling inflatable video recording booth asking people in cities across the world to finish the sentence, "The truth is…"

Jorge met his beloved Miguel in 2006 in San Francisco, while running a support group for gay/bisexual Latinos with AGUILAS. It would be a lasting love.

Sánchez was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and grew up surrounded by books, culture, and his four older siblings. Sánchez attended the American School in London and graduated high school in Los Angeles. He spent months in Amsterdam and Africa visiting his father's diplomatic posts.

Sánchez studied anthropology at Hunter College in New York City and finished his degree at UC Berkeley in the mid 1990s, where he found his community among SAICA (Students Against Intervention in Central America) members, and people volunteering to support the Zapatista movement in Chiapas, México. He was a regular at Oakland's Forest House, a home bustling with young leftists and open mics.

No one savored life's pleasures like Sánchez, who smiled ear-to-ear swimming alongside canoeing friends in the Russian River and laughed gleefully with siblings when they ended up knee-deep in the mud on a remote tarmac in the Colombian jungle.

Sánchez connected with people of all kinds, liberating us from our inhibitions, accepting our flaws, and treasuring young and old. He lived with irresistible joie de vivre and took many of us on his intellectual and world journeys. "Jorge me llevó a lugares que no hubiese conocido de otra manera," said Sánchez' nephew: Jorge took me to places that I would not have otherwise known.

He gave all who met him the indelible experience of being heard and loved. Sánchez is survived by his partner José "Miguel" Vázquez; his mother Inez Restrepo of Medellín, Colombia; and his siblings Enrique García-Reyes Restrepo of El Choco, Colombia; María Pilar García-Reyes Restrepo of Miami/Barcelona; Roberto García-Reyes Restrepo and Inez García-Reyes Restrepo, both of Bogotá; and Carmen María Sánchez of New York City. He is preceded in death by his father Jorge Fernando Sánchez Mallarino.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Dec. 19 to Dec. 27, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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15 entries
January 23, 2021
Martha Aguiar
January 12, 2021
Miss you forever mi klus
January 12, 2021
Will miss you forever and more
Pilar Garcia-Reyes
December 30, 2020
Jorge will be sorely missed but forever remembered for his tireless dedication and astounding commitment to the numerous communities he served in San Francisco as a community organizer, advocate, educator, and fellow colleague. Les mando mi más sentido pésame a su pareja y a su familia. En paz descanse.
Alfonso (Alfie) Pacheco
December 26, 2020
Foto de su viaje a Boulder en junio del 2016. Gracias por la visita y los buenos recuerdos, amigos Jorge y Miguel. Casi nos queman la cocina con las bananas flambe! Además de amigos Jorge y yo fuimos al mismo colegio en Bogotá, y estuvimos juntos en la lÍnea de información del SFAF, y trabajamos juntos en el Instituto César Chávez de SFSU. Te extrañaremos mucho. Namaste.
Kurt Schroeder
December 26, 2020
I was working as a volunteer with AGUILAS back in 2014 while I was living in Oakland with my husband. I had the opportunity to meet Jorge and some of his friends. He was always humble, kind and loved his job. He will be missed.
Sergio Trejo
December 25, 2020

To my Dear Jorge:
I could hear him now: "¿ mi tocayo, por qué no pasas por un vinito y luego vamos a cenar algo? Jorge did not cook but he was the perfect host. His beautiful apartment on Guerrero Street was filled with memories of his trips. Everything so well organized. I was lucky to live close by so there was always an excuse to get together. To drive him to the airport with a last minute stop to mail his rental check. Or to take me to SFO and on one of those trips meet his charming mother, Inez. Jorge came from a well off family in Colombia, people close to the painter Fernando Botero and to Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But he never made a fuss about it, something not easy to find among us, gay men. I was a counselor for Miguel and something that was not included on our treatment plan was a relationship for him. So like magic my dear friend Jorge got involved with someone I was so proud to help. I developed a lot of respect for their relationship. Jorge was energy, kindness, intellect, humbleness, fun to be with and a great friend. Te extraño mucho, Tu tocayo

Jorge L Rodriguez
December 25, 2020
Rest in peace ADORADO Jorge. Thanks for let learn for your experiences.
I wil keep the memories of the "tertulias" in your apartment.

Arturo Reyex
December 25, 2020
I met Jorge at a conference in Chicago at the University of Illinois in Chicago, “Race Sex Power” in 2008.
We got along pretty well from the get go.
Once back in the Bay Area, Jorge help me get my California Researcher Licensing so I could work on a project with him.
That’s something I will never forget and I will forever be grateful.
Jorge was an angel walking on the earth.
Alexandra Rodriguez
December 25, 2020
It was a joy and pleasure to work alongside him for over five years at AGUILAS and in the various programs that he invited me participate. I will miss him so much as well as the Sello Rojo he always brought me back from Colombia. Jorge y Miguel you will be in my prayers.
Norma Azucar
December 24, 2020
OH my
I'm speechless. Just saw this on my Email. How can that be.
My heart ♥ goes Te Him Jorge
He always so attended and so Kind to me. HE makes me feel loved and happy. I'm going to miss Him so much
May He Jorge Sanchez R.I.P.
HE is in The Garden of God.
You will be in my Heart. There is a special place just for you.
Is very hard to say goodbye.
He will be watching over US from Heaven.
With All my Heart ♥
(Tito) Margarito Real Elias
(Tito) Margarito Real Elias
December 23, 2020
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Hank Thomas
December 20, 2020
When Jorge shined his light on you, he made you feel like the center of a beautiful universe. I treasured every moment I had with him. I’m broken hearted and so sorry for his loss.
Ellen Grossnickle
December 20, 2020
Our world is darker without him. I’ll always remember his magnificent entrance at our wedding, tropical gentleman of leisure... with police escort. Rest In Peace and Laughter, dear Jorge!
Lewis Larson
December 20, 2020
I still can't believe Jorge is gone. He was taken from us far too early and too suddenly! Jorge's zest for life was unparalleled. He always lived life to the fullest, a true man of his community and communities! I fondly remember our conversations - sometimes agreeing, sometimes not - and drinks and nibbles in his beautifully composed apartment. Life is too short, especially in light of someone being taken from you without prior warning. However, your spirit and the bridges you have built are going to live on. Rest in peace!
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