How is your experience working with Esperanza and your lawyer?
My experience was actually good. Thanks to my lawyer I now have social security.
How long have you been working with Esperanza?
I have been working with Esperanza since 2014.
How have your feelings changed since you started your case versus now?
First I was a little bit nervous because it was my first time working with Esperanza. My social and permit took a little long to arrive. This was not Esperanza’s fault but immigration’s fault. I was nervous to not receive my papers, it was chaos. Once I got my permit work and my social, I was more relieved and happy.
How has your experience been as a trans women going through the immigration asylum process?
It was a little different because as a transgender woman there are higher social costs and barriers. My asylum case and U-Visa case are pending, and I am nervous to see which will be approved.
What does pride month mean for you?
Celebration for LGBTQ+ people! For me it means celebration, because in the whole world there is a lot of discrimination inflicted on the LGBTQ+ community. In this country, in the United States, the LGBTQ+ community receives more support. There are many programs for the LGBTQ+ community, which is different to most places. For example, there are not as many opportunities. In Honduras, they don’t help transgender individuals. For me, this month is liberating”.
What are your dreams and goals for the future?
My goals are to get my degree from my university, and I am studying Sociology. My goal is to help kids that are trying to leave their homes or are stuck at home. I am studying to become a social worker to help kids avoid or get out of situations in which they are being abused whether it is physical, such as beating, or verbal. My personal goals are to learn more about individuals in society and to be someone that helps out in their community.
How long have you been studying Sociology for? How have you been enjoying it?
I started last year. It is a little bit difficult because of the language barrier, but I am pushing through!
What advice or words of wisdom would you give to other people who are in the immigration process?
You have to be patient and wait. Everything will happen in its own time. For example, my case is taking a long time. I am still waiting to receive permission to stay in the United States. The only solution is to wait and stay hopeful. Additionally it is important to stay out of trouble with the police or anyone.
Is there anything I forgot to ask you that you would like to add?
I am just very grateful for Esperanza, because, without my social and permit work, I would be following a different path. A lot of transgender individuals and women, especially immigrants, work as call girls. They choose this path because they don’t have a social, health insurance, or family help. I am grateful that Esperanza gave me the opportunity to get my papers and choose the path I wanted to follow, which is my degree in sociology.