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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Vives Q! holds Latinx LGBTQ panel and discussion
by Vern Hester
2017-04-05

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On March 26, Vives Q! held "Trans Liberation Now" as part of the Vives Q! Lab monthly discussion event.

The event is an ongoing monthly panel and discussion presentation for community-building and skill-sharing for the trans community. Hosted by Emmanuel Garcia, the panel discussion featured speakers and activists Reyna Ortiz, Alexis Martinez and Tanya Cordova and focused on pending transgender issues, including funding for community services under the Trump presidency; the issue of trans murders and violence against trans individuals; access to medical care; and the effect of budget cuts for trans care at the state level. The event was held at The Task Force Prevention and Community Services Center, 9 N. Cicero Ave.

Many members in the audience were well-known Latinx activists such as Josie Paul, Franky Pina and Karari Olvera Orozco, and the focus stayed on what the individual could accomplish on their own.

"We're here to support each of us," Cordova said in the discussion. A major hurdle she said, is the elimination and lack of funding for care under the current state and national administration and the problem of how LGBTQ organizations are not trained to deal with trans individuals.

Martinez made the point that it is "up to us" to educate those organizations and help them develop services for the trans community. Ortiz commented that her job in the community is to partner with organizations that can provide certain services and bring them under one umbrella. The tricky thing, she said, was in coordinating those organizations so that they provide services on a broad level with very little money or resources. On the subject of national and state support Karari Olvera Orozco said, "They ( the Republican Right ) want to legislate us out of existence, and we have to fight to be seen."

A major factor in the dialogue was the need for education for trans individuals of color. "There are real barriers for Black or Brown trans people that don't exist for white trans people," said Ortiz. Those barriers include access to care and the importance of continued education.

Another topic of the discussion was the visibility, which, for some, can mean vulnerability.

Martinez said that all of these issues are complicated by age and that she, as a trans individual who is past retirement age, has found it especially hard to find employment.

No long-term solutions were reached, apart from the need for more community activism in the trans community as well as in the larger LGBTQ community. The gathering then broke for a feast that participant Lalo Aguayo participated.

The next Vives Q! Labs will be held Sunday, April 30, at Mujeres Latinas en Accion, 2124 W. 21st Pl.


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