Translatinx Network helps a Resilient Community
The Translatinx Network – At the age of 15, Cristina Herrera made a solo trip from Southern California to the Bronx in search of fresh experiences. Cristina, an El Salvadorian native, believed she was unique as a youngster but wasn’t sure what vocabulary best described who she was.
I was aware that I wasn’t gay, Cristina says. But I was unable to express who I was in words.
Cristina only came out as transgender after making connections with the transLatinx Network community in New York.
In the middle of the 1980s, when Cristina started her gender transition, she claims there were hardly any job options for transgender people. Many trans immigrant women in Cristina’s community turned to sex work to survive, which increased their vulnerability to HIV.
As a result of policing and arrests, sex workers’ immigration statuses were also in danger, and stigma made them vulnerable to violence. Cristina developed a strong desire to better the lives of trans Latinx individuals at this time.
She claims, “My community was already formally supporting one another.” But I wanted to ensure that others wouldn’t have to deal with some of the challenging challenges I did.
Cristina put herself through college and found employment with an organization that supports the LGBTQ+ community because she was determined to keep this commitment. She took in as much as she could at the organization, but she began to desire more power over how to assist the neighbourhood that had aided in her identity discovery.
Since the organization’s founding, Cristina and her colleagues have taken the initiative to help and connect transLatinx Network persons as they establish their communities in the US.
Many members of our community transitioned from living in the shadows to obtaining documentation, such as work permits or green cards. We were demonstrating to our neighbourhood that life isn’t all that there is.
By gathering data on the organization’s results and ongoing service expansion, Cristina is now searching for ways to replicate its success. She declares, “We want to remain on the front lines and maintain the safety and health of our community.” Through the growth of leadership and community empowerment, we’re attempting to advance ourselves.
Cristina is happy to be able to help a group of people who have typically been ignored or excluded thanks to the success of her organization.
She says, “I cherish any chance where I can be there for others. “I want all of us to be able to live our truth and achieve our life objectives at the same time.”