Local LGBTQ and AIDS advocate dies after more than 40 years of activism

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Sue Cowell, a champion of Rochester’s LGBTQ and AIDS community died on Saturday. Sue worked tirelessly to advance the cause of gay and lesbian civil rights, along with AIDS education and support for over 40 years.

After receiving her Masters in Nursing, Cowell moved to Rochester in 1977 to work at the University of Rochester as a Nurse Practioner. She saw a need and co-founded AIDS Rochester in 1983. She served as the President of the Gay Alliance (now the Rainbow Union), as well as being the executive director from 2009 to 2012. She also helped to establish The MOCHA Center in 1997, which made strides in HIV prevention.

Eventually, AIDS Rochester merged with another organization to form AIDS Care, later becoming Trillium Health, which is a full-service health clinic offering care to the entire community.