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    In Memoriam: July Andrea Muñoz

    On December 2, 2022, July Andrea Muñoz passed away unexpectedly at the youthful age of 40+-none-of-your-business. Originally from Colombia, July made her way across the U.S. after immigrating to the country at the age of 12. Everywhere she went—from New Jersey to Houston (where she graduated from the Art Institute of Houston), Sacramento, and Chicago—July brought her fiery spirit and warmth. She moved to San Francisco in 2006 and was regarded as a passionate member of the LGBTQ+ community.

    Earlier in life, July worked for Marriott, Starbucks (as a manager in Manhattan), Continental Airlines, and as a makeup artist for MAC cosmetics, Estée Lauder, Chanel, and Laura Mercier. In San Francisco, she launched into the scene as a bartender at Trigger (now Beaux), where she quickly became known as the fastest and sassiest bartender in town.

    She was incredibly creative, especially when it came to making jewelry, costumes, and party/holiday decorations. July had a love for beauty and the world of fashion. Ultimately, that love came into fruition when she graduated from the Marinello School of Beauty in 2015 and started her own hair salon, AfterJuly Hair Creative, in 2016. She was also highly regarded as an event promoter and for creating vibrant community space as the Director of She Said SF (a queer women, trans, and BIPOC-inclusive event series founded in 2010).

    July was known for her avant garde style, iconic productions, and powerful energy. She was a strong force, which was only further demonstrated as she became a pillar of the Queer community. July was strikingly beautiful, confident, charismatic, fiercely protective, and loyal to the people she loved.

    Outside of the nightlife scene, July enjoyed meditation, journaling, and silent retreats. Close friends were privileged to quieter moments with July and benefited from her adept listening skills and excellent advice. In that space, she was incredibly down-to-earth and had a softness that can only be described as a genuine-kind aura. With her wildly contagious laugh, July would make people feel like the funniest person in the room. She also had a way of making people feel their most beautiful and had a drive to bring out her clients’ and friends’ most beautiful selves. 

    July had a passion for travel and loved exploring new cities and sites; she made friends wherever she went. Her adventurous spirit led to joyous exploits, such as convincing a garbage man in Brooklyn to let her drive their truck, or sharing humorous anecdotes like how she went to kindergarten with Shakira.

    July’s love for the Queer community extended through her generosity and charitable nature. She was known for donating proceeds from She Said events to Bay Area LGBTQ+ non-profits, and independently gave to organizations like the San Francisco LGBT Center, Transgender Law Center, and NCLR. Beyond creating space for the community to come together, she constantly championed DJs, artists, and other folks in nightlife. She had a special place in her heart for go-go dancers and supported them generously with her tips.

    July’s chosen-family extends far and wide! She is survived by her BFF Pam Rolon in Chicago; former flames such as Claire Frix in Sacramento and Taylor Perry in Los Angeles; and beloved friends including Andy Poole in Seattle, Sierra Eads in San Diego, and Sasha Dekelaita in San Francisco. Her friendship with A. Sparks in San Francisco, in particular, was described as “next level.”

    Sparks and July affectionately called each other “Guapo” and “Macha” Sparks shares: “July once asked me what I wanted in life. I told her, ‘Macha, I want to make a difference in the world. I want to be important.’ She took that to heart, always made me feel important to her, and believed in me. July was playfully fun, adventurous, and complex. Her unfiltered and unapologetic demeanor was shocking at times but, ultimately, made me love her even more. She inspired me to be courageous and always, without exception, showed up when I needed her most. My life was 1000% better for having her in it and I will always cherish the time we had together.”

    July will be terribly missed by family members she loved including her brother, Alex Castiglione, a resident of San Francisco, and many relatives, including her aunt, cousins, and grandmother in Colombia. Her energy inspired so many to be passionate, to go “full force,” and to create something new and beautiful in the world. She is leaving a lasting legacy with the community she created, her chosen and biological family, and her loving wife, Qui Nguyen. Qui has described July as the “Love of [her] life” and the person she “would be with to the end of time.” She notes that July “celebrated me from the moment we met to her last breath. She loved me unconditionally and accepted me for who I am, and she taught me to do the same.” Entrusted to Qui and chosen-family are July’s cuddliest loves, her dogs Qtip and Noodoe, whom she loved immensely.

    Individuals who would like to pay tribute to July’s legacy can send gifts to the “July Muñoz Spirit Award,” a new scholarship fund at Horizons Foundation. This award will be given annually—in an amount no less than $10k per year—to a Bay Area, low-income, LGBTQ+, BIPOC artist/creator or nightlife activist. The goal of this fund is to help promote July’s dream of strengthening the lives of LGBTQ+ people through courage, community-building, and creativity. To donate, please visit:

    Click the “other button,” and add “July Muñoz Spirit Award” in the notes. 

    On Thursday, December 22, 2022, July’s chosen-family will be hosting a public celebration of her life and amazing legacy with a farewell party, “She Said: Celebrate Life! – A Tribute to July Muñoz.” Folks who attend are encouraged to bring memories and photos of July and we will all toast to her birthday (December 23) at midnight. The event will take place at Curio (775 Valencia Street, San Francisco) from 9 pm-1 am and will be free, with donations gladly accepted for the July Munoz Spirit Award.

    In Memoriam
    Published on December 15, 2022