Monday, November 5, 2012
Making a Difference
"My name is Drian Juarez, and I am living my authentic life as a proud transgender woman. Getting here wasn’t always easy. Like you, I faced barriers that at times seemed insurmountable – lack of quality health insurance or a stable place to live, and working the streets to earn money. As a child at a time when there weren’t gay-straight alliances, resources, or advocacy for children like myself, I experienced a lot of terrible bullying. Fortunately, I had a grandmonther who loved and nurtured me. She taught me to be myself and be proud of who I was. I remember feeling like if they didn’t understand me or like me, it was their problem. But, I did always feel like an outsider. At the Los Angeles High School for the Arts and in college I was very involved in the arts. I fit-in there, and began to feel a lot more confident. It wasn’t until I graduated college, though, that I came to understand there was a word for what I was – transgender. Today, I am a Program Manager at the Transgender Economic Empowerment Project at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center. Through the connections the Transgender Law Center has with the LA service organizations, I got involved with the Transgender Leadership Summit in 2005. I’ve been to every Summit since! At the summits I have been able highlight the barriers that trans women experience, and hopefully make their lives better."
There is much more to her story of course. Go here to learn more.
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