Roxana Reyes Rivas

Roxana Reyes Rivas, philosopher, feminist, lesbian, poet, politician and LGBT and women’s rights activist from Costa Rica. Owner of a sharp pen and incisive humour, a laugh a minute. She was born in 1960 and raised in San Ramón of Alajuela, when it was a rural town, and her whole life she would break away from the mandates of what it meant to be a woman.   

With El Reguero (Costa Rican lesbian group) she organized lesbian festivals for over a decade, fun-filled formative spaces to come together at a time when the Costa Rican government and society persecuted and criminalized the lesbian existence. For hundreds of women the lesbian festivals where the only place they could be themselves and come together with others like them.  

Roxana would often say founding political parties was one of her hobbies. “It’s important for people to understand there are other ways to do politics, that many issues need to be solved collectively”. She was one of the founders of the New Feminist League and VAMOS, a human rights focused political party.

“The philosophical trade is meant to jab, to help people ask themselves questions. A philosopher who doesn’t irritate anyone is not doing her job”. For 30 years Roxana taught philosophy at several Costa Rican public universities. Through her guidance, generations of students reflected about the ethical dilemmas in science and technology.  

Roxana’s favourite tool was humour, she created the Glowing Pumpkin award, an acknowledgement to ignorance that she would bestow upon public figures, through her social media channels, mocking their anti-rights expressions and statements.  

An aggressive cancer took Roxana at the end of 2019, before she could publish a compilation of her poems, a departing gift from the creative mind of a feminist who always raised her voice against injustice.