Across El Paso, many transgender rights advocates celebrated a special day this weekend.
Sunday, March 31, is International Transgender Day of Visibility, a time many celebrate transgender and non-binary people around the globe and acknowledge the courage it takes to live openly and authentically.
Advocates also use the day to raise awareness of the discrimination and violence that many trans people still face.
Claudia Delfin, a local transgender rights advocate told KTSM the day holds a lot of significance.
“I just want to voice out that today if you have a friend that is a transgender person or coworker to kind of remind them that it’s okay and that you’re there as an ally,” Delfin said.
The journey toward living openly and authentically looks different for everyone, and, given the levels of violence and discrimination faced by transgender and gender-expansive people, revealing and expressing one’s gender identity can be a complex and difficult process.
Some of the women explained how difficult the transition has been without the help or support of their families.
“I’ve been transitioning for three months now, its been a real challenge for me, I didn’t have no ones support, and it was rough for me because I didn’t have anyone to explain the process for me, but also me going out to public… they just stare and I just feel discriminated,” Delfin said. “I think that it’s not right; I think as transgender people, we should be treated equally as human rights and we should have equal respect.”
As KTSM previously reported, El Paso County commissioners officially declared March 31st as ‘Transgender Visibility Day’ back in 2017. Local transgender rights advocates say El Paso has come a long way since then, but still has work to do.