My name is Andres, I am 20 years old and live in Arizona. I have been living as a gender diverse person for the past 4 years.
There are not many trans and gender non-conforming resources that are translated into Spanish, so it’s difficult to try to educate many of my family members and people with whom I work with. Not having the right resources to communicate how I feel with the people I care the most can be frustrating. My gender identity and expression is a part of me, and I want to be able to share that with those who matter the most with me without it being awkward.
The moment I realized how important it is to have resources that are accessible to all folks was when I decided to come out to my mom. My mom was raised in rural Mexico where the machista culture prevented women from receiving an education. She was forced to leave school when she was 13 years old to care for her younger siblings. When she arrived to the United States, she was forced to work to support her elderly parents back home. While she understands English, it is easier to communicate verbally with her in Spanish. When I first came out to her, I did not realize that the language barrier would be a bigger obstacle than anticipated. My mother had a lot of questions that I could not answer in Spanish. When I tried looking for family acceptance resources that could help her, they were either limited to English or were written with academic language that made it difficult for my mother to comprehend. Not being able to communicate a huge part of my identity with her caused us to have a rather strained relationship.
Over the years I have seen more Spanish trans resources pop up, but most continue to be riddled with academic jargon that people like my mother cannot understand. While it is good to see that people are starting to translate material into other languages, I would like to see more material written in an accessible, culturally inclusive manner. I ask for more non-profits and activist to start creating trans and gender non-conforming literature in other languages so that everyone from the community can benefit from these resources – not just a few, but also to make sure that these resources are written in a way that they are accessible to anyone who reads them.