Honoring the Life of Tiffany Marrero

Advocates for Youth staff were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Tiffany Marrero, an activist and storyteller whose spirit, passion, and work touched many lives. Armonte Butler and Louie Ortiz-Fonseca shared these reflections.

Tiffany Marrero was an extraordinary force of light, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

In 2017, we had the honor of meeting Tiffany when we were charged with leading the youth initiative in partnership with NMAC at the United States Conference on AIDS. From the very beginning, we connected with Tiffany on a deep level, and before long, she became the co-facilitator of the youth initiative.

In 2018, she and Armonté facilitated a weekend of training for the youth initiative. It was through this work and Tiffany’s feedback and inspiration that ECHO came into fruition. Our partnership with Tiffany continued, and for several years, both she and Armonté participated in ViiV’s annual youth summit. Together, they provided the guidance and vision that now makes the summit a more intentional and safer space for Black and Latinx young people living with HIV. In addition, Tiffany supported the development of the Medical Mentorship for Young People Living with HIV toolkit and offered a unique perspective on the role of providers.

Tiffany was a frequent contributor to Gran Varones, where she wrote about growing up as a child living with HIV, sex positivity as a person living with HIV, the need for pride events to be more radical in their support of people living with HIV, and parodies of Black women.

On the evening of May 7, 2023, Tiffany Marrero became an ancestor at the young age of 31. Our hearts are shattered, yet full of gratitude for the privilege of working in partnership with Tiffany, sharing space and time with her, and calling her family.

Tiffany Marrero, we speak your name, and we will continue to honor your legacy.