Ryan X Rubio

Ryan X Rubio, aka Rincon X Rubio, AIDS activist, artist extraordinaire, movie buff and fashionista, died in June.

photo of Golden Gate Bridge blockade 1989
1989 Golden Gate Bridge blockade. Ryan is 2nd from the left.

According to his Facebook page, he grew up in San Pedro, California, graduated from Glendale Community College, studied communications at Diablo Valley College and film at Community College of San Francisco, and worked as a chef at Hollywood Detox Center. He was active in ACT UP San Francisco and Stop AIDS Now or Else.

photo of Ryan

He also writes that he “made a short movie called ‘playing poseidon’ that showed globally, although i didn’t know how to promote it and my friend dennis was the one who marketed it for ungrateful me, did some stories for ‘3 dollar bill’, ‘homocore’ and ‘whorezine’ (sf-based zines), worked on some other artfag projects. i havent been very ambitious career-wise, maybe…

“When i was working for esprit de corp in the production dept in like 1990 my friend valentina moonlighted as an actress and she helped me get cast as an extra on the awful oliver stone movie about the doors. i was crazy for “twin peaks” at the time- and guess what? special agent cooper (kyle maclachlan) was playing ray manzarek!…

one night for a scene shot at the san mateo water tower (“not to touch the earth” was the song) it was announced over the loudspeakers that the cast would sign autographs for us little extras for about an hour (do people really want those things unless it’s like a legend?- i do have cary grant’s from when i worked on the ss constitution in hawaii but that’s different). i could give a shit, but i wanted to meet kyle and i wanted him to remember me (how typical of my self-centered low self-esteem), so i wrote on some paper i found, this: “To Ryan Rubio, you unfaithful lying son of a bitch” and handed it to him when it was my turn to have the honor of someone scribbling their sig. he looked at it, then looked at me, then looked at it again, looked at me again, then he made that special agent cooper smile like the cheshire cat and signed it, actually giggled, and moved on to the next fan. “

Friends and fellow activists remember him vividly and fondly:

“His favorite place to be was in a dark movie theater, film light bathing him in it’s ethereal glow while his beloved stars created magic across the silver screen. We shared a love of music and laughs. Such a gentle soul. He will be missed. Rest in peace sweet friend.”–Waiyde Palmer

“I remember Ryan X Rubio’s careful, hand-drawn font. The way he turned everything into a miniature art project. His love for Lynda Barry, Matt Groening and the band X. The way I could never figure out if Ryan made old Hollywood films gay by watching them or if those films had made Ryan gay. His compassion and the softness of his heart. How he taught me the best way to apologize, by setting the better example. No more dead homosexuals please.”–Jorge Cortinas

In 1990 Ryan and Jorge moved into a house with their then boyfriends and Ryan sent out this announcement of their new address:

handwritten graphic of address change annoucement

It was quintessential Ryan and I kept it all these years (though this photo is not mine).


Author: lagai

LAGAI-Queer Insurrection is one of the oldest radical queer liberation groups in the U.S. We publish UltraViolet, a more or less bimonthly newspaper, which is mailed free of charge to over 1500 people, including over 800 prisoners. Our website is www.lagai.org.

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