Trans Latina Coalition presenting at the 2013 LGBT Journalist Conference in Philadelphia February 2013. Ms. Salecdo came to the United States seeking nothing more than what everyone here desires, freedom to live her life authentically.
What she found was alienation, poverty and sexual assault at the hands of the people who entrusted with the safe guarding of our borders. When I asked Bamby how it is that she has become a Transgender aids activist addressing this room of journalists today she replied " because she was a empowered woman, even back then, the system was forced into giving her a chance releasing her from incarceration and deportation.
I then asked Bamby what we could do as journalists to get the stories of the trans people who are currently held by ICE published. She explained with sadness in her voice that most trans woman in ICE detention are too scared to tell their stories out of fear that might further jeopardize there chances at remaining in the United States. Further more she explained we wouldn't be allowed to visit them in the first place.
So is this the fate these woman who passed under Lady Liberty who in reality is transgender? Are we to remain silent?
The original Statue of liberty, some would argue, was a statue of the Greek Titian Colossus commissioned by the Egyptian goverment with decidedly male features.
The New Colossus, Emma Lazarus's Sonnet found on the base of Lady Liberty, is about the transition of Ms Liberty who's roles changed from warrior to welcomer and from male to a female transgender woman.