Last month on March 31 we celebrated one of our favorite holidays: International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV), a day dedicated to celebrating the lives of transgender and nonbinary individuals around the world, especially those in our own community! While every day is a day that trans people should be seen, heard, valued, respected, protected, loved, and supported, TDOV calls special attention to the impact that trans visibility and representation has on our society, the contributions that trans people make to our community, and the discrimination they continue to navigate while living their authentic lives.
This year, as we all navigate social distancing and the particularly isolating impacts it can have on LGBTQ+ people, TDOV is more important than ever. We called on transgender and nonbinary individuals in our own SATX community to share images of themselves and to tell us a bit about what TDOV means to them. We hope these positive, powerful images of out and proud transgender individuals will not only brighten up your social media feeds, but remind you of the strength, courage, diversity, and resilency of our community and of trans people everywhere. Even while social distancing, you are not alone. And these amazing trans folks are here to remind you of that.
Thank you to all of our participants for sharing their stories and to all of you for reading along!
Staff Sergeant Kathryn Goldston, Combat Medic Instructor:
“By being visible we are changing the stigma people have with the word ‘transgender.’ People are able to put a face to us and know we are just as human as they are.”
Sergeant First Class Freyja Eccles, SHARP Victim Advocate:
“Sharing your authentic self with the world feels like the most daunting thing you will ever do, but once you do, you’ll be amazed with just how accepting the world can be. So never hold back, and push your fears aside. Once you have found your place in this crazy world, extend both hands out to those still searching.”
Captain Allison Caputo, Chief of Planning at the Joint Task Force West:
“When times are difficult we need to remember the simple things. As a human I didn’t choose this situation. However, I will do my best with what I am given to improve life for all humanity.”
Ella Blue Rose
I am she. I am her. I am Ella Blue Rose
The trans experience is as unique and varied as there are butterflies. Yet, like a caterpillar, we all share that struggle to become something more than what we appear to be. Some enter with knowing and support, others with shame, confusion or denial. I was the latter, but once I embraced my authentic self, my wings unfolded and the winds of the Universe moved to give me flight and I’ve never been happier in my life!
While there are those who hate and fear Trans people from behind the comfort of their ignorance and dogma, I find that my personal safety is in being as visible as possible. For ignorance is akin to darkness, and the one thing the darkness fears is the light. So the brighter I shine, the safer I am and the more a beacon of hope I can be for others.
My name is Franco Ulloa. I am a 35-year-old Mexican-American transgender male living life authentically through the support of my family and friends. Understanding that not everyone has that kind of support system, I decided to offer myself as a mentor through a brotherhood organization which I started, SA Trans Brother, to provide support on a one and one basis and/or in large group settings, educating those who wish to learn more about their journeys. By sharing my personal life experiences, I’m hoping that they will know I stand here as one but come ten thousand.
Hi, I’m Quantum. My pronouns are they/them and I identify as non-binary. TDOV is important to me because while LGB visibility teaches us that we can love others regardless of their gender, trans visibility teaches us that we can love ourselves regardless of our own gender (or lack thereof). I hope for some young person to look up to me and think that they truly can be whoever they want to be- authentically themselves.
“Transgender Day of Visibility is important because it creates awareness of all the beautiful Trans people we have in the world, especially in our local community.”
“What is the greatest gift I can give myself? The ability to tell the whole world I’m so proud of myself. I am a transgender female and have been all my life.”
Grayson Cabain (he/him/his)
For Trans Day Of Visibility I’m celebrating the fact that I’m currently the only trans masculine person in commercial real estate. I hope to pave the way for other trans folks by raising awareness within my community.
Léo Tyler Castillo-Anguiano
My name is Léo Tyler Castillo-Anguiano, pronouns he/him/él, and I identify as a queer transgender man. This year will mark 5 years since starting my transition and I couldn’t be more happier. Living out and proud every single day in America is hard due to the violence towards our community, but with the support of my family and friends, everyday is a day worth living and fighting for trans rights in this country. One thing I am celebrating for Trans Day of Visibility is that regardless of all the backlash, we are still here and we will always fight back 100x harder.
Xenia Saoirse Flowers
She/her, pansexual trans woman. I want to celebrate the first time I felt accepted as a woman, in a meeting for the Sapphic Caucus at UTSA. In spite of how nervous I was, they made me feel more welcomed than I ever could have imagined!
Treci Vale (she/her)
I identify as a trangender woman. Exploring my gender didn’t stop with my “coming out” or even with the HRT. It took years for me to learn how being transgender doesn’t mean that I am any less feminine or less capable of being seen as the woman that I am.
Jay Issac Villafranco
Today is International Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV) Such an important day for our community.
It has been a hard and also beautiful road getting to be the man that I have always been and I’m still growing. I use to walk with my head down looking at the floor being so angry while battling depression and major anxiety since childhood. I was told that I was possessed by demons, that God didn’t like people like me, I was misunderstood, hated, and always fell through the cracks, I use to use drugs to cope and made so many bad decisions including most of my relationships.
Many of us have similar stories and No matter the struggle I knew in my heart that being here was better, that there was something better ahead, that tomorrow could be the best day of my life. And one of those tomorrows was… and it hasn’t stopped being beautiful. I made a decision to be me and stop being what I thought would be easier for everyone else around me or my family. Most people don’t understand what it’s like to constantly think about your gender and the feeling that you’re in the wrong body. I use to pray that I would wake up “normal” I hated myself. But now living my authentic self I wouldn’t change it for the world! I love being me…authentic me.
I am visible and now I stand tall with my head up, shoulders back and look people in the eye.
I was surprised at the amount of people that were behind me and supporting me when I came out, it’s amazing. You don’t think people notice but I can’t tell you how many times I have been told “You look so happy I’m happy for you!”
I don’t focus on those that don’t support me or just don’t understand. I educate if I can if not I send them positive energy, pray and love them from a distance. Now it is me not allowing them in my every day life. Not the other way around. We have so much power inside of us if we pay attention and always lead with love.
I am visible and here to make sure I do everything I can in my power to prevent others from falling through the same cracks I fell through. We are in this together to love and empower one another! Much love Jay Isaac 🤙❤️
I am not he nor she, simply fabulous ME!
Brazil Noreaga (Ross) She/Her/Hers
PERSONAL QUOTE: “Someone’s personal opinion about you is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!.. Remember to never allow someone’s ignorance control your mood!
At the end of the day… You’re STILL going to eat Steak & Potatoes; while they’re- over there- cooking noodles in their left-over hotdog water!”
-Your Army’s Goddess
Brazil Noreaga (also known as, Your Army’s Goddess, Brazil N Ross) is a United States Army Wartime (OEF/OIF) Veteran, a Certified HighFashion Makeup Artist in Hollywood, and America’s 1st Miss Trans USA (2018). She is also a familiar and respected judge with boundless experience in judging local to national pageants. Miss Noreaga has also served as Grand Marshal for the very first Pride Parade in Eagle Pass, TX, and has been honorably selected as one of the five Trans Women in the U.S to take the stage as a keynote speaker at the San Diego LGBT community Center in 2018- where she accepted the year’s Transgender Trailblazer Award. She uses her social platform and positive attitude to educate, inspire, and to remind those living with disabilities that they too can make their weaknesses their strengths. As a self-identifying proud Trans Woman of color, she is committed to working in a field that promotes all levels of education while also inspiring and strengthening the LGBTQ+ community.
Lynae DePriest, They/them, Non-binary & Queer
I discover layers of myself every single day. The more I discover, the more I love and the less I feel the need to make myself small or apologize. Vibrate on my level or get out of my way! I love my own journey, figuring out what affirms me day by day, and I loooove getting to witness the journeys of my trans family! There’s a certain glow that comes with affirming your true self and we are out here shining!
Identify as Queer
The ability and freedom to hold space is the reason why I created a platform for queer people to share their stories. Storytelling is one of oldest forms of recorded history and our stories need to be shared. We must to continue to be visible.
Xajés Martinez, born in Uvalde, TX, lives in Denver, CO. they/them (elle) pronouns. fat queer nonbinary disabled femme
I want to be seen, valued, and supported without the constraints of gender on my work, my love, my being. I’m thankful for elders, relatives, and loved ones all over the globe who’ve given so much for us to proclaim our existence. it’s our time to push beyond visibility and demand better for all gender identities still alive and those yet to come.
My name is Erick Macias a Binary Trans masculine man who is 42 years. Currently serving as a Board Member of Pride Center San Antonio, The Mayors LGBTQ + Advisory Board and creator of Men In Transition of San Antonio. Being visible and normalizing trans existence in our society is what I strive for. My motto is No Brother left behind, we’re all in this together.
no preferred pronouns
I identify as a non binary femme
Waking up and deciding who I am every single day is a celebratory moment. Not saying I’m assigned to anything is freeing. That shows in my creative tasks, how I communicate with others and move on this world. I love being me and want everyone to love who they are also ♥️♥️♥️
Jamie Zapata (she/her) — In addition to being a volunteer Board Member with the Pride Center San Antonio and other non-profits, Jamie specializes in providing a safe and welcoming environment to serve the real estate needs of diverse individuals, including the LGBTQ+ community. She also advocates for equal and fair housing rights for LGBTQ+ people as the President of NAGLREP (National Association of LGBT+ Real Estate Professionals) San Antonio. To learn more about her real estate services, visit her Facebook business page: https://www.facebook.com/MissJamieZ/