Stories

Role Model Translatinx

Cecilia Gentili

My Journey, My Recovery

Cecilia Gentili - Community Organizer, Healthcare Provider

 As a transgender person who lived in the US for many years with an unresolved immigration status, without any family, along with fighting addiction to substances,  finding  a sense of community was really hard. Until I found my own. They have helped me overcome all those needs and showed me the support I needed and still need at times. Translatina Network has helped me improve my life and gave me the opportunity to help change others.

I like to think that my community found me, since when I needed them I wasn’t looking, I was lost, but like roots, they grew until they touch me. A magic, incredible, gentle touch that warmed my heart and cannot be described with words.

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My Story, My Future

Tanya Romano - Community Activist

I remember walking down the street as a young transgender person and people would call me names. They called me ugly and said “you are not a woman.” All these voices would scare me and make me really sad. With the help of Translatina Network, I have learned to not listen to those other people no matter what they say. Now, I have learned to listen to a different voice - the voice of other Translatinas who have helped me learn how to love myself.

I used to be afraid to think about my future. I thought that the pain I felt inside would last for as long as I lived. Now, I am happy because I can see a future where I can get my asylum and be documented.

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My Life, My Alliance

Lorena Borjas - Human Rights Activist

I am a Mexican Translatina activist serving to defend and promote equality for the Transgender community of New York City. I was 21 years old when I moved to the United States to begin my transition. In New York, I succeeded in changing my life and helping my Transgender community.

I emerged as a well known and widely respected community advocate by connecting Tranlana to immigration, legal, health, mental health, and gender affirming services. I feel incredibly proud to be in a growing alliance of organizations (including the Translatina Network), institutions, and groups, who put forth relentless efforts to serve the Transgender  community.

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My Life, My Rights

Liaam Winslet - Activist Transfeminist

As a transgender person and an immigrant to the United States, I’ve had to fight to keep my identity visible and be who I am. When I first arrived here I knew in my heart that my dreams and passions would be easier attained, including beginning my outward transition as a TransLatina woman.

I became a community advocate, activist, and feminist for equity of all people in my community. I fought so see that our rights are recognized — that transgender people can live free from discrimination and social stereotypes, as well as “heteronormaltive rules” placed on us by society and culture.

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My Identity, My Community

Julissa Morales - Community Organizer

Julissa is a strong, outgoing, at times hysterically funny woman who always wanted to “make a difference.” Originally from Latin America, her family came here when she was nine years old. While in high school she faced severe bullying due to her identity as a trans woman.

This wasn’t only from peers, but also teachers, and even a principal who addressed the situation by telling her to drop out. With no support elsewhere, or a degree, and kicked out by her family, she was homeless and left with no choice but to turn to the streets to survive. While on a trip coming through an Atlanta, GA airport she was targeted for being a trans woman of color and detained for her immigrant status.

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My Pride, My Triumphs

Amelia Vega - Organizer, Health Service Provider

As a teenager in Honduras I became involved in youth groups where I was discriminated against due to my sexual orientation. In Honduras, there were limited services for individuals that identified as LGBT/non-conforming so I began to advocate for myself and for my community. My advocacy merged two of my biggest passions: my passion for helping others and for my transgender community.

Once I arrived to the United States I was confronted with the barriers faced by all immigrants – lack of service information and accessibility, and lack of the English language. Despite these limitations, I believed that that I arrived in United States for a purpose. I began to attend support groups and social events. I began to network. I volunteered then later worked to advocate for my two biggest passions.

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My Life, My Passion

Marcia Fuentes - Community Historian

 I am a Translatina woman, immigrant, original from Honduras, living in NYC for 17 years. This city has allowed me to go beyond my dreams and goals, which I am still building thanks to the opportunities that are coming my way to my daily life.

I also sustain my activism and friendship in my own Trans community, which I’m very proud to be a part of. I know the reality and the needs of my community and for that I keep pushing my vision of human rights and empowerment for the trans com- munity in Queens County.

I started with activism as a health educator, promoting prevention and sensitivity programs for HIV, STI`s human rights and gender identity.