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LGBTQ Activist Dead in Cluster Balloon Fall

LGBTQ transgendered activist dies competing against long-deceased ‘Lawnchair Larry’

A chair, a balloon, and the LGBTQ community.

Sara Manderson Villegro-Sharpe, an LGBTQ activist, of San Bernardino, California, died on January 29, 2021, after several geese flew into her cluster of helium-filled weather balloons, causing her to fall from an altitude of 800 feet to her death. She was impaled on a HAM radio tower.

Villegro-Sharpe was a transgendered LGBTQ activist who believed in equal opportunity for all and the suppression of white masculinity in America, serving as it does the vehicle and conduit for the oppression of minorities.

Villegro-Sharpe was passionate, says her widow, Brandi Villegro, “a sincere and genuine individual who, yes, would hurt a fly, but never without good reason.”

Villegro-Sharpe intended to put right every inequity she believed had been foisted upon the LGBTQ community, and on women in general.

“She felt that every area of life needed to be conquered by and for minorities, especially the LGBTQ community,” said her widow.

That passion soon took her to the skies, into a hobby that is today known as cluster ballooning.

Villegro-Sharpe learned about Lawnchair Larry in September of 2020. A third grade school teacher managing her third grade virtual classroom, she had time on her hands. That was when she came across an article about Lawnchair Larry.

“It really pissed her off that the article talked only about men,” said Villegro-Sharpe’s widow.

Soon Villegro-Sharpe resolved to take positive and sustainable action to right the wrong.

“Why couldn’t it be a woman, or a transgendered person to take that first flight?” she wrote on her blog (which has been taken down by her widow). “It’s because, back in ‘82, transgendered persons were pariahs. The dregs. Makes you sick, doesn’t it? It isn’t right that it was a MAN who got that chance. And a white man! Wow…so much oppression I’m choking on what’s left of my laryngeal prominence. Cluster ballooning is forever tainted because a man, and a straight WHITE man at that, was the first to set buns to flight via lawn chair and helium weather balloons. Disgusting.”

Villegro-Sharpe was frustrated that men were the record-setters and pioneers in the world of cluster ballooning. So she set her sights on a new record: to become the first transgendered person to set a cluster ballooning record.

Villegro had her doubts.

“I believed in Sara and everything she stood for. I knew she could beat the records set by men. But I also knew that, gender aside, the record-setters probably had more experience than she did. So, why not ease your way into it, kind of like she did with her gender change operations? Or maybe do more research, learn what you can from them and improve on it. She laughed at me when I suggested she try a test flight with just a few balloons. She told me, ‘That’s like a man saying he wants to be transgender then shaving his legs and being, like, ‘Oops, I don’t like this.””

After weeks of preparation Villegro-Sharpe took flight from the driveway of her Pasadena, California, home, on the 29th at 8:15 in the morning. There was a slight breeze from the south.

What she didn’t calculate was that the winds might be stronger at higher altitudes.

Villegro-Sharpe shot upward and was immediately carried northward.

“She was getting so high,” said Villegro, “I was losing sight of her in the binoculars. I radioed to her to pop some of the balloons. But she just said, and I’ll never forget this, ‘I bet those damn men wouldn’t pop them yet!’ And I guess she was right since they set the records.”

Moments later a flock of geese flew into the balloons. Over the next seconds the geese became entangled in the balloons and the lines, causing many balloons to explode. The sudden loss of equilibrium caused the chair to tilt to the side. Villegro-Sharpe slipped out of the chair, though managing to catch her left ankle on the arm rest of the lawn chair. She dangled for a moment, then fell to her death.

According to Villegro, Villegro-Sharpe tumbled feet over head as she plummitted toward the radio tower that impaled her.

“It’s ironic, the way she died,” said Villegro. “She said she’d never be penetrated by a man. And what happens? She gets penetrated by a phallus-like object erected by a man.”

The HAM radio tower owner, Dave Lisbon, declined to be interviewed.

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