Ana Andrea Molina is an activist, a native from Matamoros Tamaulipas Mexico, and a transgendered woman. She like many others as herself have gone through an enormous amount of struggle, struggles which are brought up by a society like the one we live in. Internalized phobias, a sense of division within the LGBTQ community, and being stereotyped simply because of where she’s from and who she is. She is originally from Mexico and came to the states when she was 16 years old. Fleeing from a country where the trans community is not always treated humanely, she managed to settle in the city of Houston Texas. There, she leads an organization called the Organización Latina de Trans in Texas. OLTT, for short, focuses and provides educational and legal information for latina(o) trans identifying people and a space where people can express themselves without any judgement from the outside world. Today, Andrea is working hard on fighting for the rights of this vulnerable minority and won’t stop until she and people like her can have basic human rights.
Andrea’s beginning wasn't all that great, starting as an outsider inside an incredibly diverse city like Houston was not easy. She came to this country to find a community where she could feel comfortable being who she was and she did. But like many communities, sometimes what we see from the outside isn’t always the case being in the inside She found a community, an LGBT organization, which at the moment was a good idea to be part of but some situations developed into what she recognizes today as internalized phobias towards the trans community. The bad experience, the bathroom dilemma. At one of the events she and other trans participants were told not to use either mens or womens restroom and instead were told to use an outside room. The humiliation and the fact that the event was pro-lgbt boiled her blood and long-story-short it also became the beginning of what she does and who she is today.
“.. we are a minority within a minority where spaces are increasingly scarce and reduced for us to raise our voices…”
She decided to take a stand and say no, no to anymore misunderstanding, no to anymore pseudo leaders, and no to feeling isolated. At that moment she realized that in general the LGBTQ community lacks in communication between it’s unique groups. The trans community especially lacks a real leader and are used by their vulnerability, they are a minority within a minority as she puts it.
After the unfortunate events that took place at the lgbt organization, she managed to voice her thoughts through a video she posted online. Subsequently, the video received a lot of attention from all over which led to a lot of people going through a similar situation to reach out to her. This was the point where Andrea knew she had to do something, something bigger than herself. So her and her friends went out of their way to gather transgender and transexual individuals looking for a voice. Postings online, phone calls and texts to friends, and even contacting people who worked as sex workers is what got an unexpected large group of 50 people to attend their first event. The people represented at this meeting were people from all over Texas and who had been through a lot of negativity; the stigma that comes from being an undocumented immigrant, drug addiction, identifying as trans and having been through a lot of violence. Andrea was willing to give this group of people something to fight for and she wasn't going to let negative obstacles put her down anymore. This beginning meant something but at the time she didn’t know exactly what.
Getting the organization to an official status was hard in itself, she knocked on doors, consulted other organizations and leaders, and never gave up. There were many times were lawyers and notaries would adviser to just not do it simply because of the fact that she was not a US citizen or because she wanted to start this type of organization in the state of Texas. With her patience running low she went to a lawyer who not only advised to do this, but also helped in the process finically. One thing led to another and she finally received the news that Organización Latina de Trans in Texas was an official and recognized group in the state and elsewhere. Today she is bringing and uniting the latina(o) trans community in Houston from the ground up and since this past March they now have a physical space where they can meet. The space, like she wanted, provides people with educational information over legal and health questions and it’s not just trans identifying people who attend, but all sorts of LGBTQ individuals. She fought and she conquered and she still is alongside all the people that she represents.
The fight is not over, Andrea is still fighting for the rights of people like herself. Too many deaths, a lot of much discrimination, and a lack of understanding still needs to be tackled. Fortunately there are people like Andrea who are willing to stand up as leaders for a greater cause. The trans community as mentioned earlier is a vulnerable community which in a lot of cases is taken out of context by outside groups. Andreas ultimate goals are to create a network of facilities across the state that give aid to Latina trans identifying people and to conduct a protest for their rights at the capitol in Austin. Even if the results don’t include a change of vote towards the right direction, she at least wants people to see and hear their outcry for change.
“I wasn’t born in the wrong body, I was born in the wrong society.”
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