November 1, 2018 at 5:24 pm PDT | by Troy Masters
Transgender rock the vote cover of Los Angeles Blade

Maria Roman and Bamby Salcedo. (Photo by Yunuen Bonaparte for Los Angeles Blade)

Maria Roman and Bamby Salcedo of TranLatin@ Coalition are featured on the Election edition of the Los Angeles Blade this week.

The news week from hell began with a leaked White House plan that would virtually eliminate all acknowledgement of the existence of transgender people from civil and federal law. It was news for a day then was wiped out by the delivery of 14 pipe-bombs to Democratic leaders and some media outlets.  And on the same day as the apprehension of the Trump supporter who sent those bombs, another right-wing fundamentalist massacred 12 Jews worshiping in a Pittsburgh Synagogue.

Suddenly, what we have to lose is becoming painfully clear. And the plan to write our transgender brothers and sisters out of existence calls on all of us to activate and get out the vote.

And that’s why we feature the most vulnerable among us on the cover. Transgender Latinas face a particularly brutal set of circumstances and fight hard to overcome violence and poverty and inequality, racism and hate.

We must fight for them.  We must vote with them in mind. And so much else.

Clearly, a President who doesn’t mind escalating his war on refugees, detaining and permanently separating them from their children and now openingly threatening them with military force and bullets, will not stop until we stop him.

In her cover story this week, Karen Ocamb writes, “Despite Trump’s promises to protect the LGBTQ community, LGBT rights and protections have been rolled back since Day One, not surprising considering Vice President Mike Pence’s long record of anti-LGBT hatred—he was the point-person on the executive order to ban trans servicemembers from serving openly in the armed forces, for example. Then on Oct. 21, The New York Times made the Trump-Pence agenda very clear: “’Transgender’ Could be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration” the headline blared.

“The California LGBT community has responded by pouring out to help Democrats take back the House, providing an imperative check of accountability to this imperious president. But it’s still all about turnout.

“‘Vote for Our Lives, Trans-voting=Trans-cending Bigotry, Hate,’ says longtime trans activist and housing/HIV specialist Maria Louise Roman. “This administration does not care about our people. The true power is with the vote. We have marched for Two years—we must take real action by casting our vote.'”

“It’s important that our community understands the importance of this election. Please vote! Understand that we must put people into office who understand what needs to be done for us to get to a better place in our society. We need people in office who will do the things that need to be done, who work for our people, who are unapologetic, and will not conform to corporations who marginalize all of us. Vote! Claim your power!” says Bamby Salcedo, founder of TransLatin@ Coalition. The trans activist organization is holding its annual fundraising fashion show—GARRAS FASHION SHOW 2018—on Nov. 10 to support The Center for Violence.”


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