Empowering the People: 10 Years of Transgender Awareness Activism
This guest blog post was written by Chris Sogge, a graduate student at the University of Arizona, about Bamby Salcedo, an internationally recognized activist, advocate and community organizer.
Bamby Salcedo is a proud Latina transgender woman and the founder and President of The Trans-Latin@ Coalition. She is recognized nationwide for her advocacy work related to trans issues.
Bamby is coming to Tucson on November 20th to speak at our 10th annual Transgender Awareness Week. In preparation for her visit, she shared some thoughts about her work and what people can do to help out the transgender community.
Bamby describes herself as CEO of the Trans-Latin@ Coalition. She defines her role as “community elevated officer,” reflecting that she is where she is now due to the support and uplift of her community.
The Coalition is a national advocacy organization that addresses the unique issues of transgender Latin@ people in the U.S. Some of their advocacy focuses on detention centers and making sure that the people in them are treated fairly and humanely. This is a critical issue nationwide but particularly in Arizona.
This year the Coalition will also develop programs on community empowerment, in addition to keeping their focus on advocacy.
National Day of Action
In addition to her work with the Coalition, Bamby created the National Day of Action as a compliment to the Transgender Day of Remembrance.
The Day of Action acknowledge the violences and sadness of the Day of Remembrance, but also empowers and uplifts the transgender community. Bamby developed the idea for the Day of Action as a way to showcase the remarkable power and resiliency that exists in the community.
What Can We Do?
When asked what people can do to help, Bamby notes her interruption at Creating Change’s opening session last year, and how vital it is for organizations to start listening to the voices of transgender folks.
“Many transgender folks have been traumatized,” she says, so it is important to acknowledge that trauma. She also wants to educate people in the community about feelings of shame and how to empower people to work through their shame.
Bamby also believes that members of the LGBTQA+ community and allies need to acknowledge the strength of the transgender community, and the power that comes from including transgender voices within the movement. It is only once we “acknowledge our power that transgender people will live in a better place.”
To learn more about Bamby Salcedo’s thoughts on the movement, come to her keynote on November 20th at 2pm, or listen to her give a short talk before Tucson’s Day of Remembrance vigil. Both events that are part of the larger 10th anniversary of the Transgender Awareness Week.
Learn more about Equality Arizona’s work to advocate for, protect, and expand the rights of transgender people at both state and municipal levels here.