Rebecca, a trans Latina originally from Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas, can’t imagine what her life would be like today if she and her mother hadn’t left Mexico for the United States when she was 10 years old. She’s not even sure she would be alive.
“The hate crime for trans women in Mexico is very, very high,” Rebecca says at the start of her episode in the four-part docuseries Trans in Trumpland. “If we would have stayed back in Mexico, I wouldn’t be who I am—and maybe wouldn’t even be in this world.”
Trans in Trumpland chronicles the lives of trans people across America and how they were impacted by the policies of the Trump administration. As an undocumented immigrant living in Texas, Rebecca was always worried that she would be deported back to Mexico at any time.
One of her fears came true in 2017 when she was pulled over for a traffic violation and officers sent her to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility. During the five months she was held at the facility, she was placed in the section with male detainees and was not allowed to take her hormone therapy.
“There was constant verbal harassment by male inmates on a daily basis,” Rebecca told Remezcla during a recent interview. “At first, it was scary not knowing what could happen to me. They kept saying I was nothing but a man, and that I would get treated as such.”
During the docuseries, Rebecca, who has since been granted asylum, returns to the detention facility to face her fears on her own terms and visits Trump’s border wall to talk about why she considers it a symbol of division. She also introduces viewers to her mother who admits it was difficult to see Rebecca transition, but now accepts and supports her decision. Rebecca hopes a series like Trans in Trumpland will help people understand how difficult it was to be a trans Latina living in a country run by an administration she felt was “targeting” women like her.
“As a Latina, I’m aware that many of our communities are not well educated about trans [people],” she said. “This is going to put us in the spotlight. The last administration tried to eradicate us from existence.”
Trans in Trumpland debuts Feb. 25 on Topic through Topic.com and Topic channels on AppleTV & iOS, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android and Amazon Prime.