CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility. It’s an annual, worldwide event focusing on the lives of transgender people and the issues they face.
“At the end of day, we’re just human beings," Kitana Sanchez said. "We’re your doctors, your lawyers, your baristas, your teachers.”
Sanchez, a skilled barista, is an advocate for her community when she’s not serving coffee. Sanchez said she’s celebrating alongside her nonbinary brothers and sisters who are also trans.
“Not only are we supposed to celebrate today but every day of being trans, being out and being proud,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez told Action 10 News that it hasn’t been easy to do just that.
“A lot of times transgender people face backlash with legislation. Real extremist(s) don’t want to see us exist and its crazy. I get so upset and angry at the same time,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez is not alone in her anger. Several trans community members participated in a PSAon the struggles they are currently facing.
“Whether you’re a trans business owner, entertainer, advocate, or simply just existing anti trans legislation affects us all,” Brittany Ramirez said.
"One hundred thirty-seven anti LGBTQ bills have been introduced within the Texas Senate,” Adair Apple said.
2021 was a record-breaking year for anti-transgender legislation. These bills restrict access to bathrooms, locker rooms and participation in sports. Some prohibit gender-affirming health care and others try to force educators to refer to transgender students by their “biological sex” and restricting LGBTQ teaching materials.
There are other challenges for the LGBTQ community.
“There’s a lot of mental health issues that people deal with including anxiety and depression and suicide. We do have resources available through the Coastal Bend Trans Alliance and the pride center and the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation,” Sanchez said.
In the three years the Coastal Bend Pride Center has been open, it has offered multiple resources. The assistant Director Robert Kymes said everyone is welcomed.
“Pride Center has a support group for transgender non-binary individuals and a resource guide for businesses who are welcoming and open to the transgender community,” Kymes said.
If you or someone you know is transgender and needs to talk, there are multiple resources local and national you can use. The Coastal Bend Pride Center also offers programs for children 13 to 18 years old. You can reach them at (361)814-2001.