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July 13, 2022

The Politics of Sexuality and Gender

On Coup Save America, Episode #8, Sophia Sepulveda, the Mexican American Wonder trans-Woman challenges the misconceptions and false rhetoric surrounding trans-people. She talks about carrying her childhood trauma of non-acceptance into adulthood and gives tips on how to support a young person's preferred identity. As she converses with Sean about legislative attacks on transgender Americans, Sophia shares her stories of the hurdles involved with transitioning, navigating relationships as a transwoman, and discrimination from other factions of the LGBTQ+ community. Sophia also tells us about her extensive activism work to improve healthcare in Texas and her nonprofit organization, Trans Power San Antonio. 


In addition, Sean interviews Jesse A. James, a bold independent candidate from the State of Washington who is running for the House of Representatives on a platform of progressive changes for our country. You had your chance, Pramila Jayapal, and now it's time for a new congressman who will hold the current administration accountable for the promises they made during the 2020 presidential campaign!


To be or not to be. That is a question that some members of our society must contemplate when they make the difficult decision between following social norms or embracing their authentic cells. Imagine living in an alien body that just feels wrong. You not only find yourself entrapped in an uncomfortable body, but also within a society that seeks to impose its own standards of normalcy, further entrapping you within an authentic identity for those who dare to reject societal expectations and break free from the social constraints that inhibit their true selves, ridicule persecution in an endless barrage of vehement attacks await them in some cases, even posing a threat to their physical lives and safety.

Escape from this torment is limited by invasive medical intervention, costly legal maneuvers and socially reinventing yourselves. And yet even these efforts are not enough to grant one a full reprieve from the injustice and mental strength, try as we might. It is impossible contour the cognitive wherewithal even begin to imagine the mental and physical turmoil transgender people face and their struggles to be their true, authentic self. We are born in bodies that come with our own markings, whether it's the color of our skin or genitalia. These biological features define our identities in accordance with the social norms that happened to exist within the time place and culture that we are part of.

We are expected to conform to these societal norms adopting the roles and behavioral attributes that our society has conferred upon us in this sense, our self identities are a social construct dictated by the defined metrics of normalcy and course, tolerance for diversity. The limits to our identity are imposed upon us by time and place, our culture and religion, our family and of course our class within society deviations from these norms and social expectations can subject us to persecution, social inclusion and in some instances prosecution and even death in this modern era of enlightenment, tolerance and acceptance with new concepts and understanding surrounding gender and sexuality can sometimes feel as though there has been an evolutionary shift in our human development shift where new categories of sex and gender have suddenly blossomed into existence.

Some argue that these new categories have been manufactured, brought about by the surge of tolerance that has convinced or encouraged individuals to embrace these seemingly new constructs of gender and sexuality as if there's some hip new fad that has become all the rage. The fact of the matter is that non heteronormative gender roles have existed since ancient times. In the tale of two brothers dating back some 3200 years. Bada removes his penis and declares to his wife, I am a woman just like you. Some Egyptian goddesses are depicted as androgynous.

Many wait a minute. There's even archaeological evidence that trans or third gender individuals existed in California 2500 years ago. The same rights that these roles now exist among indigenous people in today's modern era and archaeological and ethnographic evidence suggests that third gender categories may be of great antiquity in North America overall In Colonial America during the 1800s, some individuals began new lives as men and went on to serve in the military, such as Albert, Cashier and James barry. Human sexuality and gender have always been complex and difficult to understand, especially since they are rooted in the sociocultural abstractions that are themselves constantly changing.

Who we are as individuals is largely dependent upon the societal influences that dictate who we become or who we can become. These influences permeate themselves across social systems and institutions that infiltrate our lives and define the metrics by which normalcy and acceptability are measured in any given place and time, degrees of tolerance and social acceptance are thus always in flux. And when it comes to human development, we need to remember that our framing of normative standards constrained by the social constructs that dominate our modern culture. What we perceive as abnormal in the lens of the present often has normative values in the past, meaning that few human traits are newly emerging.

What is new, however, is the filtered perspective provided by advancements in our scientific understanding of our humanness, transgender men and women face challenges that are entirely unique to them as they confront social, physical, anatomical, medical and legal got lands. Unlike any other members of the LGBTQ plus community, the controversies of bigotry and persecution of transgender people is an epidemic crisis. Suicide rates and suicidal tendencies among transgender persons are considerably higher when compared to the general population. According to the Trevor project, Nearly half of LGBTQ youth seriously considered suicide in the past year.

Gender based victimization discrimination, bullying, violence being rejected by family friends and community harassment by intimate partners, police in the public and discrimination and ill treatment within the health care system are all major risk factors that influence a suicidal behavior among transgender persons. Even with the evolving tide of tolerance, misconceptions, confusion, scientific uncertainties and political attacks remain pervasive impediments in a race and disparities facing transgender persons. In America, transgender individuals are often disparaged vilified as mentally unstable persons, societal oddities and sexual predators by ignorant and self serving politicians in right wing media personalities.

According to the human rights campaign 2022 is on pace to see more legislation targeting transgender people than any prior year. Overall, more than 300 anti LGBT Q bills have been proposed in 2020 to 140 of which aim to deny medical care to transgender people or impose limits on which bathrooms they can use while other bills seek to restrict participation in competitive sports. one particular point of contention is that that is becoming more prevalent in these legislative efforts stems from the rise of so called parental rights measures. These would ban any discussion or instruction of gender in schools, even banning books related to gender identity and non heteronormative sexual orientations, from school libraries to some, even those who consider themselves allies to the LGBTQ community aspects of these measures might seem reasonable, sensitive topics of this nature after all, are too complex for young Children and might lead to confusion.

Or so goes the argument on this note, I want to share my own personal struggle with tolerance, to highlight the faulty premise of this idea and illustrate why it is important for Children to begin practicing tolerance and empathy, not when they are old enough to understand, but as soon as they start to engage with other human beings and create interactions that can and will make a lasting impact, I happen to know a thing or two about being a social outcast. The entirety of my childhood was spent hiding in the shadows as I desperately attempted to make myself invisible.

There was just something about me that differentiated me from the other kids now precisely what that was that made me different, that always managed to escape me. But no matter which school I moved to, the other kids picked up on it like a magnet. My peers would call me a faggot and say I was gay. I had no idea what these names that they were calling me actually meant. And to be honest, I seriously doubt that the kids lobbing them at me. Had much of an understanding of them all I knew was that being gay must be bad.

I think deserving of ridicule and social exclusion. No one told me otherwise. Course, as it turns out, I wasn't gay, but at the time I had no reason to believe that I wasn't and no trusted adults telling me that it would even be okay even if I was gay. For me, school became a living nightmare and I would often suffer intense bouts of physical sickness in the mornings. At the very prospect of enduring another Hollis day at school, my mother, desperate to ease her son's pain, would frequently allow me to remain home.

So much so that social workers were actually called to my house. I felt ashamed and alone and I had no understanding as to why the other kids found it so difficult to accept me. My experience was never one where I was bullied, but rather an experience of forced isolation and degradation. What made it even more excruciating was that I was one of those kids who loved learning schools should have been a joyous place where I thrive. But instead my grades suffered due to my poor attendance. I avoided participating in class, fearful that a teacher would pierce my shield of invisibility by calling on me despite being loved and supported at home by my family.

The authorization by my peers were so great that I attempted suicide on multiple occasions. Eventually I dropped out of high school and enrolled in the Adele education program where I actually began to flourish. Well I was never good with people my own age. I did thrive around adults. I had always dreamed of pursuing my passion and becoming a marine biologist. But the social anxiety and fear and I just the thought of reliving hell in my early school years without eliminated college as an option. This too was devastating for him.

I would go on to attempts suicide several more times as a young adult. Eventually, with the dawn of the internet and online education, I was finally able to pursue higher education, focusing my interest on psychology and sociology. Kind of hoping to figure out what was wrong with me so that I could further understand my earlier experiences. The trauma from my childhood has had a lasting impact on my life and I continue to struggle with social anxiety, low self esteem and depression. I've learned how to mask my insecurities and blend into the crowd.

Most people who encounter me in public would never even know the depths of my discomfort and anxiety. It is relatively easy for me to cloak myself in the same shield of invisibility that I learned to manifest in my childhood, all my struggles, certainly nowhere near that of others, especially for some members of the LGBTQ community and transgender individuals in particular can certainly relate to feeling ostracized. For me. It was not so much being trapped in the wrong body as it was being stuck in a society where I could just never find a sense of belonging to be stuck in the wrong body with Iran autonomy.

That's, that's just too frightful prospect for me to even imagine. Now I need to share with you another story from my youth that is more on top. You see when I was around 16 years of age, I was working at um, as a baggage handler at the local airport in the international arrivals terminal. One of my coworkers was a gentleman who became a very close friend. He was a popular employee. Everyone respected. And while we would wait for flights to arrive by co workers, all of whom were adults, we would gather in the staff lounge and play games.

My friend taught me how to play cribbage and told me jokes and mentored me, encouraging me to forget what others thought of me. One day this friend appeared on the job dressed as a female wearing a wig make up. The whole works. At first I thought that he was playing and praying, but this was the dope. The word transgender wasn't even in my vocabulary as it turns out. My friend was transitioning at the time before someone could undergo sexual reassignment surgery. They had to live as a gender.

They were transitioning to for at least a year. And my friend was just beginning this process. What struck me the most wasn't the change in my friend's appearance or gender identification. The changes I observed in everyone else. This individual who was once widely respected, considered to be a friend and welcomed by all were suddenly a crazy person. Pervert credit. She was called everything except the one thing that mattered the most. A woman I saw my friend lose her job, her friends, I saw her be abandoned by her family and endure hardships far beyond anything I had ever imagined.

My friend was trapped in a body that didn't match her authentic self and while some are better able to transition their outward appearance to conform to their true identity, my friend had overly masculine features as she herself acknowledged to me even after sexual reassignment surgery and the cosmetic endorsements, my friends still remain entrapped by physical features that masked who she was making her the subject of constant ridicule and rude stares wherever she went to those who say this was her choice. Who in the hell would want to put themselves through such trauma.

The point of these two stories from my life is that teaching kids about the differences they might observe and counter friends has done indoctrination. It's not harmful. Information and awareness is the key to tolerance. It's a cloud of ignorance causes the most harm and that my friends is the last word up front. I'm sean ST heart and this is crusade of America for those of you who are watching this show, please do me a favor and hit that like button. Subscribe to our channel and share this stream far and wide to help us grow and reach a larger audience. Today.

We are going to be exploring the politics of sex and gender in american society and more specifically issues and controversies surrounding transgender rights. My guest today is Sofia Sepulveda, a first generation mexican american trans woman co founder of transparency er SAn Antonio In 2019. Sofia was recognized as one of the 25 most influential woman advancing change in San Antonio who, alongside other activists and organizers in texas, Were able to pass legislation that extended Medicaid for new mothers from 2 to 6 months. She also sits on the board of Health care.

Now transgender education network of texas and community advisory group for central Med. In san Antonio. Sophia is a courageous and inspirational trans activist who is leading the charge for purposeful and systemic social change before we yelled in today's today's topic. We're gonna be joined by Jesse a James, an independent candidate running for the House of Representatives against incumbent Jeremiah Jayapal In Washington State's 7th Congressional District, Jesse joins us right after the break. We'll be right right mm. Yeah of the four. There we go. Before we get to jesse, I would like to first play his campaign advertising but Hello, my name is Jesse James and I'm running for Washington House of Representatives District seven in just a working class citizen dismayed by the distant state of a political climate and ready to make a positive change in our country.

Last year. I ran for Seattle city council running against the regressive sweetened beverage tax and the unfair democracy voucher system. While my run wasn't particularly successful, I feel it was the learning experience I needed to bring me to where I am today. I will just say the Democratic Party has lost touch with the working class of this country. Not only that, but their shift towards a more authoritarian and pro censorship agenda has not gone unnoticed. This is why I'm running as an independent. I do not think any party should be left unchecked.

And since the republicans are all but irrelevant in this district, let it be an independent to present that challenge. Coming from L. A. J. Paul showed us all what she truly is made of during the build back better negotiations. Not only did she let the bill completely sink into nothingness, but also gave up all the leverage your caucus had worked so hard for her over the years and received absolutely nothing in return, we got absolutely nowhere in holding the current administration accountable for the promises they made during the 2020 presidential campaign.

It is also clear she's willing to put professionalism over authenticity as she turned her back on populist candidate, Nina Turner in favor of the corporate and Republican back to Chantelle Brown, these current performance issues lead me to the clear conclusion that if we truly value our democracy and wish to use it to hold disappointing representatives accountable from Malaysia paul must not only be challenged, but defeat. Yeah. And ladies and gentlemen, introducing hopefully the next congressman Washington State's 7th District jesse James. Hello there. Thanks for the video play Sean really appreciate that.

My first question is, how long have you been working for Vladimir Putin? And why are you helping the Republican party? Because I hear that if you run as an independent, that's the democrats big scare tactic. For first of all, we have a top two primary in the state, and what that means is during the primary, which every candidate of every party is on. There's only four actually in this race, but the top two go on to the general. It doesn't matter what party, it can be democrat versus democrat, it can be democrat versus independent democrat versus republican democrat vs libertarian.

Um so And the Republican turnout is below 20% in this district and there are two on the ballot to split each other. So, uh, any claims of that are preposterous, that missed correct. Um Well, I've been saying that throughout, I mean, lately, the Democratic Party has in new york state, they've gone after the Green Party. Um I mean, for a party that claims to be about democracy. Yeah, they're not very democratic. No, not at all. Um So tell us about some of your policy positions. Medicare for universal, universal health care, preferably the most streamlined single payer, you know, everyone gets covered system.

And I don't have any preference. Extreme preferences, unhappy for that cutting the military budget. It's our military budget is giant. It's like like we have the number one most military spending in the world and if you took uh numbers 10 through two and put all that money together, well, I think we're still on top. So uh, definitely get on that. Another thing I wanted to talk about when, since we were on the subject of electoral um strategy Is this called the rule of 30%. What this is, is uh if you're in a district, let's say a heavy blue district, which there will be a lot of because of the gerrymandering and redistricting.

But if you if you look at the past elections or you look at the electorate and the Republicans get 30 or less percent, uh, you can run a third party or independent candidate with no problem of no risk of splitting. And the reason is if you take 70% of the vote that the Democrats would get, you put in a third party or independent. And let's say you split it halfway 35, that 30% of the Republicans get can never win. So any super polarized blue districts I think are should be declared open season on personally.

But yeah, that's me. I, well, I agree. And you know, I just this year I actually changed on my voter registration, I changed actually from democrat to independent because yeah, it's pretty bad, but as you say, they failed to deliver on their promises provided Jayapal as supposed progressive um endorsed a pro life. Um Okay, I might actually, sorry I was gonna go with Henry Cuellar but did not endorse nina turner a progressive, she endorsed Chantelle Brown. Yeah, she turned her back on the populist candidate yes for a corporate candidate who join the Progressive caucus and you you don't really need any qualifications to join the Progressive caucus from what I hear, you can just walk in so she sean tell Brown walked in and was able to get the endorsement just from doing that.

So she's also a member of another caucus that I believe the new democrats, the new dems the more corporate yeah, center dems, she's part of both. So it's just it's absurd to me this whole system. I think it's just a lack of fight, lack of caring. Absolutely. It seems as though if you run as a democrat and you get elected as a progressive or what other it seems though you just get co opted by you just go along with them. I don't know what it is. Careerism, I have no idea pressure of sorts, careerism number of things, they just kind of sell out.

I think that's the way to put it, they just kind of sell out. It's just it's just horrible. So I mean everything that I saw in your ad, I agree with, Thank you. I'm glad. I mean, you know, cutting the military budget. I mean that that's a no brainer right for some people. It is, yeah, you'd be surprised but yeah, it is about the federal minimum wage increase. I mean that again that's something that's been promised to us and you know, that failed. It's so low like 7 25.

It's a joke. What would you think would be? Um I mean I think they were trying for $15 an hour which I think is probably uh that's the thing is you put a number there and by the time you get there it's not big enough. That seems to be the so I don't want to put a specific number but we should definitely go about raising it. That's definitely a must. Let's talk about the child tax credit. What's your view on that? uh it should be renewed to the 3600 I believe it was that before it's I know it got failed to get renewed by the build back better.

I support renewing it pure and simple. I do. Especially with the economic situation we're in. It seems like a pretty good idea to support Children. I'm always for supporting Children. Now. The elephant in the room I guess is roe v wade um being overturned. Um Disgraceful support, codifying that into law. Yeah. I support. Yeah. Yeah. How it seems to me that the real issue here though is the Supreme Court itself? Yeah, we need term limits No more than a 10 years I'd say. Uh also uh somewhat somewhat unrelated, I support making the president probably my most radical policy.

I support making the president a nonpartisan office. I support a ranked choice voting primary to get the two candidates. I don't think we should be juggling the court. And on top of that, even the president between this, you know, back and forth tug of war party Bs. So yeah, I'm all for reforms and all across the board. Oh, that that would be great if we could do that. Um You know, there's there's other proposals that I've heard two of even changing. Um I believe one proposal is taking the presidency and making that a six year term with the option of having that extended.

Um um I haven't heard that it's one of the policies that has been put forth by constitutional revisionists that are seeking to try to make it more democratic. Hm But term limits for no, the problem with term limits for the Supreme Court might be the now there's nothing in the constitution itself that says how many Supreme Court justices there can be, but they are lifetime. So how how do we go about changing that? Um not legislation or an amendment, I would assume. I'm just not super enthusiastic about uh packing because you know, if we pack some Republican gets a president, he packs some.

I mean, when does it end? It's kind of kind of just fix the system now. The idea of judges, oh yeah, that I'm done for that. That's a, I've heard that proposal. That's an interesting one I like from that. Okay, so, um, obviously legalizing marijuana and mushrooms too. I hear. Oh yeah, mushrooms should be legal and sold at the store, perfectly good tax revenue right there. We know weed's interesting because being in Washington, you know, people, but um, the problem, the problem is because of the federal, uh, federally illegal means the, and restore all this money.

Some big targets for robert. One of my mom's bud tenders in Tacoma was actually shot and uh, Mark Brown, um, uh, top robbery. So it is a relevant issue in Washington, I would argue. And it's something we should definitely get on. Yeah, yeah, that definitely is a no brainer. The league. The weed legalization at this point is a definite no brainer. And you know, this is something that you would think that they would have been able to push. Well, this whole idea of ever pushing joe biden to the left was always absurd to me.

That was never gonna happen. Yeah, I mean, the man is basically a Republican. Um, he's like a Bush era Republican, like, yeah, he's like democrat George bush. That's what I've been calling him from the beginning and, but most, and the thing is that a lot of the, well, let's not even bother talking about how his son is a drug user and just the disparity between rather not get into all that and other people. But it is frustrating that the fact that he has a son that is had substance issues and he won't lighten up on substance abuse. Yeah. Yes.

I mean it's a very getting some of these people that are in prison, some of them on life sentences for pot. Yeah, it's insane. Nonviolent drug offenders should be freed immediately. And that's one thing that I thought that they might be able to again because of Biden's son. I thought you know, maybe that's 11 issue that they might be able to push them on. But apparently not even that, nope. Well, there's just no fight in the current Democratic Party that's kinda mayan oppression is just it's a lot of virtue signaling a lot of finger pointing a lot of sneaky B. S. And when I I'm just happy to be an independent.

Oh well, you know, you tell people that you're an independent but you get accused of, oh well are you trying to help republicans? It's like, yeah, I try and shut down those arguments right away. It's illogical and not really gonna get us anywhere because it's just not true. So, well right and vote my argument to is kuo is not going to change either voting for this constantly if you if you if I do get through this primary um there there will be absolutely no argument for that.

The Republican, there won't be a Republican in the general election. It'll be the main goal is democrat versus independent. And that's looking at this district with how small the republican support is here. That should be the norm, every election, all these heavy blue districts that should be democrat versus independent or third party, I'd argue independent. I think a lot of people, uh No one is against voting independent. That's the thing, like, it's like, you know, you say, you're democrat, oh, he's a democrat or a Republican, oh, he's a libertarian or far left Green Party, like Independent.

Um I could argue could be somewhat of a vote sponge if you really think about it, especially with how uh uh, disappointing, uh even republicans have been disappointing to their base too. So you never know what kind of votes you're going to get from that, just, but yeah, the electoral strategy really needs to be rethought a bit. I hear a lot of these old arguments, they don't hold up, they don't really know what they're talking about and you gotta look at each election strategically and you know what elections can be won, What elections can we make a difference in its, you've got to come up with a game plan, pure and simple, that's yeah, what are some of the hurdles that you're up against, especially running against someone like Premier jayapal who's, I mean, imagine that she's got a good amount of funding and well um well basically what you said, those common arguments always get in the way I think people don't take independence that seriously I think is the main problem most of them just that's that is basically the main problem is it's hard to be taken completely seriously.

Uh and like I said explaining the electoral situation, there's no reason to not take an independent seriously, but we just got to change the mindset on that I think should be a goal in the future, especially in this district. What would you like to say to people out there that are give us a pitch for people out there too as to why we need to have you defeat from a J paul because again, my argument is just that need change and we're not getting that change from these so called progressives, what would you, what would you do your first priorities?

Um My first priority is after being elected or um carve out simple legislation for the child tax credit for. I mean that's another thing is uh the way our legislation is uh made these days, it's always in these big package deals. So all this added stuff and people. Uh so I make a big thing, making very clear as close to layman's terms as possible legislation that everybody can understand everybody can understand who is voting on what and therefore that strengthens a democracy because you know, you can tie issues to candidates and you get a, so I'd be working to streamline the whole process and I'd call out any, you know, corporate handouts, any, you know, I vote down the military budget every time it gets increased.

I do what I can basically with. And also find, I'd also use any electoral influence I have to, uh, Uh, find independent 3rd party candidates to endorse in elections that they can win in. So I think I'd be quite the busy bee once I got elected. And I mean, for those out there, I imagine that you're, you know, I mean, even as an independent, I mean, you'd be working with democrats. Oh, yeah, I will work with it. I will work with anybody to get legislation passed. It doesn't matter who it is.

They support childcare healthcare at any point. I will hold them to that. I'm not here to play. He said, she said, he said, she said with, you know, he was talking to this person and that, that's not how I play. I go issues first. I think that's the way to go. I agree. Hey, you know, you got, you'd have my vote if I was in your district, I believe. Are you in nine. Um, are you in Seattle we're in the Mill Creek area, Milk. Oh, you're in Millcreek.

Probably not then, but you're around. So I appreciate the chance to be on the show. Maybe I'll move and vote for you then. Oh yeah. You know I could always do that because we do need again as I said, I just this year I finally just changed um to an independent and not that I wouldn't vote for a democrat, but you know I'm looking outside of that party because I I just have lost all faith at this point. Yeah a lot of people have, I'm trying to fix that.

I I don't think people should lose faith but I think they need to take a deep breath and re think strategically and reorganize and you know there is hope to be had in this world. Uh you know we are it has been the last few years have been tough actually. Yeah, that's true. Well it just seems as though the Supreme Court, it's just like that was sort of the last vestige of Yeah, just gut punch after gut punch. Yeah, that's exactly a good way of putting it.

Um So what can we do to help you and help your campaign fundraising? You have a fundraising website I do on my website. I'd appreciate more word of mouth though. I'll take donations. But I do want people to spread the word I want. Um I have plenty of poster art. That's pretty cool on my twitter or my website if you if anyone wants, if anyone wants to spread that around the video, you know that's see that's what I do. I'm a musician. I'm a I have music music, sound design, graphic arts video experience so I can make all these posters and cool.

You know, advertisements. If people want to show them off what not that that's what would help me. And, you know, spread just vote independent. Don't vote for these democrats in these districts. You don't have to. It's very simple. So that would be my um, let's do whatever we can to um, tell us your website, jesse, J E S S E No, I jesse a James, and then the number four, and then office dot com jesse James for office dot com. And we're going to go ahead and put that in our show description as well.

So people can go ahead and link on that and Let's go ahead and play that campaign ad one more time, is that it? And we're good to go after this. Oh, yeah. Thanks for having me on. It was a lot of fun. Best of luck. And again, we really need to get you um, get you into office now, if you'd like to spend more time with us. Oh, you know, I wanted to ask you a little bit about transgender rights. Oh, I I support anyone's right to do with their body and persona very socially kind of libertarian in that way.

You do you. So I support the I support the trans community. Um, I want I just wanted to ask you a question. You talked about that last year's City council one. Can you talk a little bit about that. Oh and I also wanted to ask you about these democracy vouchers? Oh, oh yeah, we didn't touch on that. Um So do do you know about the democracy vouchers program? Is that well, I might be is that sort of like the for voting the Contributions instead of cash contributions?

Yeah, it's every every Seattle citizen gets like $100 worth of vouchers basically. Um They get a and uh they can give it to any local campaign they want or that's what it says. That's the idea is to support grassroots movements, grassroots campaigns. Uh The problem though is there's this big condition for citywide candidates that I found out about where You need, I think 500 people to give you um $10, real, 10 real dollars in order to even qualify to get the vouchers. And what this does is because you have these incumbents in these already established politicians, they have staff, they have people so they can they can get it like that, they can fit that qualification and be on their way.

Well, all the small candidates in which the program is supposed to support. They they're off on a scavenger hunt basically. So it gives and then if you look at the financial records of the democracy vouchers. Most of the money always goes to just the big candidates. Uh So in my opinion, it was kind of a failure. So I ran to reform it and uh lesson or get rid of that qualification in order to make it a more even playing field. Yeah, they'll put a message, they'll put um they'll put a, you know, a a message behind it uh and then a slogan and you know, they act like everything is good, but there's always like something in the fine print something and that's what really irks me uh when they make legislation or programs that have these elitist uh parts to him that no one knows about and is so Shane.

This is kind of goes back to my wanting clear simple legislation. Um Yeah, great. Hey, let's play, let's play that one more time and thank you so much for joining us and your website. Thank you. As I said, you definitely would have my vote. Oh, that's that's good. That's an honor. Thank you. I will be closing off and can we play the ad one more time and then we're gonna bring in our guest Sophie Sophia, my name is Jesse a gene, sorry, Washington House of Representatives District Center.

I am just a working class citizen, dismayed by the distant state of a political climate and ready to make a positive change in our country. Last year I ran for Seattle City council, running against the regressive sweetened beverage tax and the unfair democracy voucher system while my run wasn't particularly successful, I feel it was the learning experience I needed to bring me to where I am today. I will just say a Democratic party has lost touch with the working class of this country. Not only that, but their shift towards a more authoritarian and pro censorship agenda has not gone unnoticed.

This is why I'm running as an independent. I do not think any party should be left unchecked and since the republicans are all but irrelevant in this district, let it be an independent to present that challenge. Coming from Miller J. Paul showed us all what she truly is made of during the build back better negotiations. Not only did she left the bill completely sink into nothingness, but also gave up all the leverage your Caucus had worked so hard for her over the years, received absolutely nothing in return, but absolutely nowhere in holding the current administration accountable for the promises they made during the 2020 presidential campaign.

It is also clear she's willing to put professionalism over authenticity as she turned her back on populist candidate, Nina Turner in favor of the corporate and Republican back to Chantelle Brown. These current performance issues lead me to the clear conclusion that if we truly value our democracy and wish to use it to hold disappointing representatives accountable for Mila J. Paul must not only be challenged. Put your feet and we are back. Okay, we're going to bring in our special guest Sophia as I mentioned, Sophia is a trans activist.

She has some amazing accomplishments and she's coming to us from san Antonio. Hello Sophia, thank you so much for joining us. Oh I can't, I don't think I can. Happy to be here. Thank you for the invite. I was reviewed. Yeah. Sometimes we have technical problems. I wasn't sure if that was on our side or what. Um thank you so much for joining us um to discuss this. Uh ah frustrating. As I said in my model, it's a frustrating year, especially for trans rights. We've got over 300 various legislative efforts throughout the country that just quite clearly it seems bigoted to me and I can't even imagine especially coming from a red state that yeah, just ask No. Yes. Yes.

Just as you were mentioning just last year, we saw an increase of bills and anti trans bills about around 71. We were able to defeat most of them, but the governor kept on having special special sessions. We had like the state legislature in texas only meets every two years. Right? And it's an odd year, odd years. It's not on every year. Like usually a lot of um ST steal. And so they take advantage during that time to bring legislation. That is atrocious, right? Like we saw in 2020 I believe um p 2020 2021 people were literally dying for not our power grid failing right?

We had a snowstorm unprecedented. Never before over 100 people died. But instead of addressing the grand, he decided to attack trans bodies. Right? And again, we were able to defeat so many um bills, unfortunately during one of the legislative sessions, uh they were able to pass the trans bill who prevents trans Children from participating in sports. And if you read the bill is very invasive, right? Because it requires everyone that they believe is trans to show them their generals. So basically they're asking Children to show them Their private part, right?

And these are Children kindergarten of the 7th grade, which is again, Children. So, I mean, it's it's crazy. And I love how they're the ones that pass these laws and they call um those on the left groomers or child predators. And yet they're the ones that are, I mean, it's it's utterly just absurd. You know, And I was on another podcast, the ripper ripper views, um, and I was debating a right winger about trans athletes. And and to be fair, I'm not at all into sports, so I have no, you know, real insights into that.

But my my feeling is like why in the hell does it even matter? I mean, it seems as though you're saying that a woman can never defeat a male ever. And so therefore right, that just seems like such an absurd, like it's not only it's absurd, it's misogynistic. If you think about it because it's pretty much saying that women are not good enough. This is, but it's it's it's a trap that utilizing in order to to say that there were attacking women when we and actuality are not attacking women.

In fact, one of the first lawsuits against trans athletes happened because one of the girls said that she didn't have the opportunity to go to college because the trans athlete was able to take away her scholarship, needless to say that girl who sued was pretty bad at the sport she was playing and the trans athletes also did not get a scholarship is very small. Um times that it actually happened. We saw it with leah thomas, leah thomas 1311 race out of three. Everybody started talking about the race that she won instead of and not mentioned in the other two races that she actually lost, right?

She hasn't been able to be to be the best female swimmer that is out there. So it's just a trope too inside fear and hate and mobilize their base in order to come and vote. Right? So none of what they're talking about has any type of scientific evidence. Every trans athlete has to go through rigorous testing to ensure that are at the soul stone levels are low that are estrogen is in part with the gender females, right? So we pose no threat, not to mention the trope of trans folks have an innate ability over trans overseas gender women just for the fact of being trans or mail before.

It is it's the same truck that was that was utilized not not even 10 years ago when they kept on saying black male athletes were better than white athletes because they had the body, sorry, the body and that is my dog, the body and the predisposition and the athletic ability of um to defeat the white man. Right? So to me, what it started to sound is like a lot of white folks don't want to train hard enough and they're blaming others on their defeat. No, that's exactly what it is.

And you know, unfortunately they seem to have the messaging that just gets their base riled up. Um and I would like to see it's just frustrating. And because you're seeing, you know, as I said in my mom also, we're seeing high rates of suicidality, especially amongst, I mean in the trends that it's the highest group of suicide rates and we're doing this even with kids, we're seeing this and I mean we're literally canceling people out and costing them their lives because we're of this intolerance. Exactly. I mean if I can talk about personal experience, like you said, I am a trans woman, I'm a trans woman.

I've been. Um I mean I knew who I was since I was four years old. So it was never a phase. Right? So I never never want question my gender identity since I was very little that my first memory is me twirling around, wanted to be wonder woman because we used to watch linda carter and syndicate in Mexico, right? So to me that was the the epitome of female empowerment, femininity, femininity and courage men, right? Like so I wanted to be just like her and I used to get beat it, but like beat up by my parents because they didn't want me to be that kid, right?

So I had to endure a lot of abuse when I was growing up, but that didn't change the fact that I knew who I was in and because I didn't feel the support and have the support system that thankfully we've seen now a lot of kids enjoy from their parents, right? That the idea of suicide was very frequent in my head because I knew I wasn't the person that they want, they wanted me to be. I knew I always been Sofia my entire life, right? So for them to deny me the right to be who I really was was very detrimental to my mental health, to the point that even now I'm still going to therapy because there's a lot of trauma that I'm still trying to get over and even talking to my sister, I was talking to my middle sister and I was telling her about my older sister punishing me when I used to play with her barbies, right?

And she was like oh get over it, it's okay. But that's the point the trauma that we and during when we were Children we carry we carry until our adult years. And I don't think that when conservatives religious sell its continue saying we are here to save the Children. I don't think they understand the damage there that they are doing to those Children. They say they want to save. If they really wanted to save their Children They will protect them. They will ensure that they are able to be who they are.

Like you said we have the highest suicide rate from any community, the trans community. And it usually happens during our develop developing years from 10 years old to 18 years old. Right? Those years are critical and if we are not protecting our Children especially our trans Children and allowing them to be who they are. And and And the misinformation find the misinformation that is happening right now right? We've seen um saying that Children are getting gender confirmation surgeries and I'm like no child, no child in Texas under the age of 18 years old Ever guess gender confirmation surgery?

Not one child right? And the the way that we are ensuring we are supporting our kids and we are allowing them to be who they are and we are providing them with the gender care that they need especially when they're little is by respecting them their pronounce the name that they identify their preferred name or their uh their real name, not the preferred name. My real name is Sophia right? So it's calling them by their preferred name. Calling them by the right pronouns letting them dress the way they want to dress right.

And and and I think it's time that we stop saying this toy is for boys and this toy is for girls. When at the end of the day, how many Children who grew up to be cis gender heterosexual wanted to play with uh my tiny oven and now they're like big time bakers, right? So not everything is dual. Not everything falls in the binary that we as a society is still trying to hold on to, we need to ensure that we are protecting really protecting our Children by allowing them to be who they are.

And even, you know, I've got a lot of friends that are on the left that that look at like this the so called don't say gay bill in florida. And they're like, well I agree with that. Why why is that an issue? And my and I'm like because it's not so much that you're teaching Children about sex as what you think it is. It's you're teaching kids about what they're liable to encounter in our society, their classmates. You're teaching them about the differences that exist out there.

It's not this whole idea that you're indoctrinating them or that subject that you complicated. No, you're protecting Children from intolerance by helping kids understand. Exactly exactly. Like just what you said is you're you're teaching them tolerance to these Children. By not speaking about the LGBTQ community is you're telling them that we literally do not exist. So when they go out to the real world and they see people like us, right? They question not only they question, they can start making fun of people, they can start attacking other people.

Ignorance leads to violence. And and and it's very necessary that we start putting those dots together when you don't know nothing. You can get you can get fearful, fearful can get to be aggressive and aggressions many times leads to violence, right? So not understanding how Erasing the LGBTQ community not only in school, but even now though it mentioned in florida this this conservative right saying um Mhm boycott Disney right? Because there was one trans person on the new show or there was a lesbian kids on this uh Buzz Lightyear, which by the way, I haven't even seen.

But but all of this rhetoric is just telling your Children these people are not valid. These people shouldn't exist and you should attack them because that's exactly what I'm doing as a person. People kids are born bigots. Kids are born homophobic. They are taught by their parents. So whenever these parents says I am not transphobic, but or I'm not homophobic back to me is the same trope as saying I am not a racist. But yeah, yeah. And you know they love to make this big guy create these controversies where they go out and they like dead naming right?

Like you intentionally go out and build and and they'll and the whole thing is really just a scheme to again create more hate. I mean it's a very intentional tactic. You know, especially when you look on on what's going on with twitter recently, I'm not going to say anybody's names. I don't want to, it's just like why this is not your trying to distract from the core issue, which is that it's an attack on I don't even like to say trans rights human rights, that's what we're talking about.

It is human rights at a abstract level and they're under attack. I mean when people have to just or the like the bathroom bills this nonsense, I looked it up. Not one. There's never been a rape in a bathroom. Not once. No, no. I mean, do you honestly and if someone wants to rape, if that's your goal, you're gonna go through the trouble of why would you go to the trouble of being trans when you can just be part of the duggar family. I mean there are a bunch of Christians right?

Like they weren't on the 18 kids and counting turnout turns out the elder of the family was actually abusing his sisters right, but you're trying to say that his trans people who are going after Children like now, I mean a lot of trans folks don't even like Children. That's a lie. I love Children. Children are awesome. But and and I think Children are awesome because they know the true, you write like a friend of mine who is also trans. Her mom used to have um sitting service. So she used to have like a bunch of kids and I used to stay with them sometimes and the kids were amazing to me.

Like MS Sophia gave me this message and, and I mean because they're innocent, right? Like, and we are not there again, like you said to pervert them of anyway where we exist and it's normal, this is normal. It's nothing out of the ordinary, which is regular people. And, and like you said, I feel like the way that these legislatures are concentrating on attacking the the trans community in particular. They they're just in the same troops that they were utilized back in the seventies, eighties, nineties when they were saying like, they cannot allowed gay teachers to teach in schools because they will groom their Children and they would turn them gay.

I don't know if you remember that, that that throw back in the day, right? So they're they're they're utilizing the same thing now to ensure that they continue centering themselves in their bigotry racism and homophobia. That's what it is. What are some of the the challenges that you have faced in your life? You know, I had a friend back when I was 16 and I mentioned in my monologue who um, had transitioned and before transitioning from male to female. You know, my friend was well liked, well respected all of a sudden.

She appeared in work one day dressed as a female dressed as her authentic self. And all of a sudden I witnessed people that were rational before turn and it's like, okay, this person's appearance changed, but who they are didn't change. It's the same person that you respected. You know, it's just like, I don't understand, I didn't understand I was 16. I didn't understand and this was my friend and I continued to be her friend and I'm like, how are all these other adults? And my friend ended up losing her job.

She, I mean it's just even at 16 at this time, I had no idea. No one, I didn't even the word transgender wasn't even in my vocabulary. No, I had no, no one taught me this. No one explained this to me, but I knew then that this was unjust that this was just wrong to, to treat this person in such a way. And you know, is this in my model? Like she was called everything but the woman she was called a predator. And again, it's like this is the person that we knew.

So and I don't think that that I hope that today that things have changed. But in the stories that I read the headlines, it's like the bigotry that and again, it just goes way beyond just bathroom laws. I mean this goes to employment housing education, you name it. Yes. Well, first, um again, the way that I was brought up, right? Like it was very um anti LGBTQ or anti trans. So it was very difficult growing up. I, once I started transitioning and I moved to san Antonio, my aunt literally kicked me out because I was too feminine.

So that was before also my transition. So I had to sleep in the, in the streets, right? And tried to survive on the streets. So that was like, like many, especially many LGBTQ folks or trans folks of color, right, have been kicked out and living on the streets and they have to resort to um either selling drugs or selling their bodies. Right? And and and that was our lives for for a while because like you said back in the day, The most trans that we knew about it was either transvestite or transsexual, that the word transgender did not even exist.

I'm 45 years old. So I have come from those times. And so it was during my experience, however, was a little bit um different. I like to say, especially because I mean thankfully I never looked manly or masculine at all. Even growing up, my voice never changed, My face never changed and it got more feminine. So my way of navigating the world was a lot easier. And particularly before before my um me working as a not even working before me organizing. I the one thing that I had to do is work under the radar, right?

Like as we say, like incognito in hiding. So everybody had my job before. They they they had no idea that I was trans. So I was able to get a job and not be discriminated against. But before changing my my name and my gender. My t of course I got discriminated against. I I remember I applied for this taxi service not as a driver but as a dispatcher. And I remember being on the interview with my with the supervisor and he was a guy and the guy who's telling me how beautiful I am and my smile sparks a room and blah blah blah.

And I'm starting to get really nervous because he still hasn't seen my idea and he's telling me how great would I be for to be part of the team and my experience blah blah blah. Um He asked me for my d to take a copy of course employment and I had to give it to him the next day I got a call saying that I didn't get hired and I knew exactly why I didn't get hired, right? It was not because I couldn't do the job. It was a dispatcher.

All you have to do is answer calls right? It's not that I didn't have the experience because I did. It's the fact that I was trans and um I was denied um before also when applying for apartments it was very difficult to to to get an apartment complex to allow someone who was trans. Two to rent from them right? Like especially because there's a lot of misconceptions again from prostitution to drug use to um perversion even when and none of those miss that's what their misconception none of those are completely true right?

But because of that they will deny us access to housing. So for many for many years I had to spend nights with friends like couchsurfing in order to have a place to stay because I didn't I couldn't a afford it because I couldn't get a job because my driver's license was not changed. And B. Nobody would rent me because I was I didn't, my driver's license wasn't changed and and everything works in my favor. Once I was able to get my driver's license changed, my name changed and I was able to get a job and get um an appointment and be able to live right.

And and and not just live it was just surviving because it was going to work with the fear of people finding out and telling Hr and me getting fired because people found out that I was trans or even like um I remember one time I, a friend of mine asked me to go out to the bar to the L. G. B. T. Q. Bar and I went and there was a person there from work and I was like, oh shit, like, sorry, what do I do? And I remember that person coming up to me like, what are you doing here is like, my best friend, she's gay and she wants to come here.

Guess like just pretending that I wasn't part of the community in order to be able to go back to work the next day. Right? I I found out. So once I started organizing and I started working on social justice organizations, I was able to be freely who I was. And finally able to say it out loud and and and loved me the way that I never felt that I was able to be never felt that I would be able to do that before. Right? Well, you know, what about personal relationships too?

Because I imagine that that, you know, I mentioned that because a lot of people don't understand this within the LGBT community. I mean being gay, that's that's different from being transgender, right? Because you know, there's all these things like as a transgender, like you said, you have to change your I d I mean, there's a legal process for that. And in some states they make that very difficult that in some states they don't want to allow that at all. Um, you have to have, you know, the medical transition.

I mean, that's, you know, that involves health care, great deal of expense. So there's all these different challenges in the transgender community that don't exist otherwise. Where again, you just something as simple as changing your id or sometimes just your name, right? I mean that requires going to court sometimes. So, and then you've got relationships too, which is, which is because again, you have to hide who you are from so many people, which is just insane to me and that, you know, the person that went to hire for the job, it's almost as like, you know, some of the stuff that he was saying was inappropriate in the first place, right?

In eternity. But I don't, I don't think that I'm the only woman who's ever experienced that, right? Like, but but it's true. I mean, not only a lot of people do not realize how so that there is discrimination within the LGBT community against the trans community as well, right? And a lot of people do not realize that. I mean, we do go through a lot of crap as trans folks. Like when I was growing up and again, there was no war for transgender, right? Um, I struggle a lot with my identity because I knew that I was a woman, but I couldn't be a woman because that wasn't the the way that we grew up back in the eighties, right?

Like that, there was no information, like it is right now when you can get on the internet and start looking this is how I feel and and you can get an array of information about and to discover yourself right? And to and to find like minded people to have conversations about your identity. It wasn't like that before, it was like you see that you're gay or you're straight and I couldn't be gay because I never felt myself to be gay, right? But was I a woman? I knew I was a woman, but I wasn't my body the way that it was, it was like it wasn't a woman, so what was I?

And it wasn't until I came to the United States and I started going to a bar where a lot of trans women do work as showgirls, right? Like doing drug shows that I was introduced to a trans woman and her name, she was amazing woman. She passed away around five years ago and she was like an icon here in san Antonio. Her name is Erica Andrews, super amazing, beautiful woman. Like at first glance you wouldn't have known, you would not known and then I met other trans folks who helped me into going to the doctor and like you said, it's no easy feat, like they talk about and and and I and I and I blame it on on celebrities, but they talk about having the treatment and the hormone replacement as is from day to night and you're already done right?

Like first of all, not all trans people want to have medical procedure done and that's perfectly okay. Second of all, it's not as easy as Elliot page or Caitlyn Jenner make it out to be like I had to go through an evaluation of a month and a half with a psychiatrist before even referred to a doctor before I was even referred to a doctor. I was told that I had to live as my preferred gender for at least a year thankfully. By that time I had already been doing that for at least a year before I get in my hormones.

But they, there are requisites that you have to meet before the doctor even gives you the hormones to start your treatment? Right. So it's not like, hey, I feel this way, okay, here's you, here you go get your transition ready. It doesn't work that way right. It's, it's, it's a lot of steps and a lot of um, and a lot of hurdles like you said, like without a universal medical fraud system in the United States, if you're trans, you're not working, you have no insurance. So how do you deal with that.

Like how do you go and go see a doctor and get your hormones. I mean you can go through through the local, um, in the, in indigenous health care system, which is like the um, the county benefit for low income folks or you can just go through the black market, which many times we did right, we go to Mexico by hormones come back and also sell them because we needed money. So let's sell these hormones while injecting ourselves of hormones which we didn't know what the hell that we're doing to our bodies.

So I mean it is really difficult and talking about the, the LGBT community being also sometimes very trans. I mean there were many times that I was going to the bar and a lesbian girl would tell me, what are you doing on a girls bathroom, you're a man, get out of here or this gig. I actually told me the only reason you are trans is because you couldn't hack it as a man. So crap like that. And I was like, well I never wanted to hack it as a man, but thank you I guess like I don't know.

Yeah, no, I don't even know what that what that what that means is like, oh you're just an idiot. That's pretty much. But so so that kind of goes back to relationships being difficult to write because as you said, you're not, you know, you're not gay that that wasn't what you were, you know. Um so how do you just imagine that there's got to be so many complications with relationships. That I mean I'm just going in my head just thinking all of these struggles and yet, you know, you get other people are like, oh, it's not a thing.

It's just they want, it's a choice that they're making. It's like no one is going to choose all of this emotional and physical pain thrust upon them. Yeah. Every single aspect of life is just that much more complicated. You have no idea how many times I laid in that thinking about my friendships and we're not even talking about boyfriends, right? Like just friendships and thinking if I tell them that I'm trans, will they see me the same way they saw me just yesterday or just today, will they see me as a woman?

Will they see me as their peers, Right? And, and and it's a constant struggle because you don't know and in a way, you know that they like you because of the person that you are, which is a woman. But would they like you the same if they knew that you were trans and and and it's it was a constant battle. And, and so it was very hard for me to really cultivate those relationships because I knew that if we got closer as friends eventually they were gonna know and they were gonna find out and what's preventing them from telling others about me or telling the my job.

So it's it's it's, it can get very lonely, right? Like you said, I mean if it was a choice, I definitely would not choose chosen to be friends. I would have chosen to be born and and assist hat and not worry about anything. But I mean from bullying to being denied jobs to being denied health care because even health care is being denied like some insurance, I mean thankfully um, the, the president Obama actually did an executive order for the affordable, correct um, saying that no insurance through the A. C. A could deny access to trance care right?

And it's the same way with Medicare. But if you're working through a job who happens to be a very big job, you cannot get access to trans health right? Like I, before even changing my gender on my idea and I had to change my, my name, I had to put on my insurance that I was female in order to get hormones cause because otherwise they would have denied me the hormones and the way that we did it is my doctor had to say that I had a hysterectomy and I needed hormones for my body.

So like there is a lot of hurdles that we have to go through like from, from medical to relationships and, and, and when it comes to dating, oh my God, jesus is divorce. Like I have a partner, I've been with them for going on 12 years now, but I met him online, I actually met him on a dating side and um, when I started organizing and um, I started making a lot of noise in my organizing career. I guess you would say one of the newspaper wanted to make an article out of me.

And I then realized that if I was going to talk about newspapers, one newspaper about my life, I would have to be completely honest, I couldn't organize and just continue lying and I and I had to tell my boyfriend are you okay with that? So being trans, like you said, it's not the same as being gay, being gay. You usually can tell or you just come out or whatever. Whatever. Being trans, you have to come out basically on a daily basis. On a daily basis. And uh, and once, like the article that was written about me, I was saying that I was trans.

I remember going to a meeting and people that were like, oh my God, I had no idea. Sofia as if I was intentionally hiding who I was to me. Like before I was able to to to say out loud and proudly that I'm trying to me, it's like unless I am sleeping with you, you should not know what the hell is going on between my legs. You and I have are not intimate. There is no reason for you to know. So to me disclosing my trans ness to other folks what's not a big deal because to me, it's like I am a woman first, I am a Latina 2nd and I am a trans woman third. Right?

So, uh, understanding that transgender is just a small part of one's identity. I think it will help a lot of people to better understand what we go through. And a lot of people do not seem to understand the difference between sex and gender. That it's like that totally gender is a social construct. It has got nothing to do with Jenna taylor. Yeah. Um, and it's just this is where we need that education in schools, comprehensive sex education that talks about the difference between sex and gender and talks about relationship issues and talks about the whole spectrum of things that kids going through puberty, right?

And even before puberty, I mean, these are such important issues that we're not talking about. And the level of ignorance surrounding this. Oftentimes, especially when you hear some of the politicians speak about it, um, is just like, did they really just say that it's ignorance compiled with the willingness to create uh crisis when there is none in order to again mobilize the base. That's the only purpose, right? They don't care about who's there, damaging, They don't care about who they're hurting they care about the votes and staying in power.

And the best way to do that is to scare a population that is already ignorant because we are slashing education. We are not preventing them from learning even before in texas. It was mostly about abstinence right before the whole let's not talk about LGBTQ issues. I mean the legislative session is already saying that they're gonna they're gonna present that don't say gay bill here in taxes. So like we have to get ready for that. But I mean it's we're teaching abstinence to Children, we're not teaching and teaching them about L. G B. T. Q. Um communities at all.

And and and then we wonder why do, why do uh the young adults now have a higher STD risk because they do, they have a higher HIV risk because they do and it's because we are not teaching the Children. So in in reality these conservatives do not care about Children, they care about votes because if they care about Children, we will be providing them with the information to be a stronger person and to understand how sex and sexuality really works in order to protect oneself. Other than that it's fundamental human development.

There's nothing to be ashamed of or hide. I mean, and the idea that kids are just they're too young to understand. No, they're not. I mean like you said, you knew at four years old. Yes. Yes. Yes. I mean, and you hear these over and over again, You know whether it's a, I knew I was gay when I was four or 5. Um you know, I knew I was so it just seems to me that there is a need at the youngest age and unfortunately a lot of parents, I can't even imagine what it must be like to be a parent of a child, right?

Because especially a child that's either transgender or gay because the fear, I mean the fear of them being bullied, the fear of I mean there are people that are still being killed today in this country, you know, for being gay or transgender. I mean the danger is so great and I would like to think that the more that we could education would make us more tolerant. But I think that there's just some level of of, as you say, there's there's certainly the politics of it, but there's also just there seems like some people just have a need to hate, there needs to be a constant crisis at play and transgender people make a you know, it's very convenient, especially because I mean, and we're gonna see the boogeyman right?

Not just within trans community. I mean we saw it with when trump walk down those stairs when he says like mexicans are rapists and they're bringing drugs and they're not they're not bringing their best. So it was it's racist tropes tropes with homophobic troops what to get these people are like that, right? I mean Even during the January 6 um interaction, there was a transgender woman in there and she was a white trans woman, but to me like again, her identity at that moment wasn't trance, it was white that brought her to there, right?

So understand. And and seeing I was listening to this podcast about they're they're interviewing with a lot of folks who were part of the coup and one of the ladies whose husband is in jealousy side, oh, he's very good friends with justice and he's not transphobic. And it's like, but why is he not right? Like probably because they have the same hate towards others that they share and they're uh his her story was she only started getting engaged with the radical right because nobody will hire her because she was trans and she will lose jobs because she was trans and instead of blaming the system and the cow and and the state that she was in because they were the ones who put the system in place.

She started blaming mexicans and she started blaming black folks for not having a job. They were taking my job. They're taking my job. And unbeknownst to her, the real reason is the fact that she was trance. Yeah. And yeah, no, you see you made an excellent point and that's kind of what this podcast this show is all about too is addressing the root causes because these scapegoats are distractions, You know, all the loss of jobs or you know, I mean these are tropes that you see over and over and they're just there to distract people from the fact that we have a system that is unjust at its core and a lot of people are hurting and, and it's just, it's easy for politicians to say, hey, it's these people over here that's causing your pain.

It's not me. It's not the system that we're benefiting from. Its, those people over there blame them. That's why your jobs are gone. Not not because we've sent the jobs away, you know, through through these trade deals and all that. No, no, no. It's, it's these people over here and even with immigration, what we're actually seeing is reverse immigration. You know, more Hispanics are leaving the country going back into Mexico than they are coming into the country. So, and there was a movie actually that was, I think it was called something like A Day Without.

I love that movie A day without a mexican. And you know, you almost just kind of wish you could just see something like that happen just so that people would wake up and like, okay, you want you you want, So this is what your solution is. You want to just deport everybody. Okay, how's that working for you? Because you know, it's just yeah, that movie did I get the title right? Yes, yes, yes. A Day without a mexican. You got that that people need to see that movie because I mean that really opens your eyes to these people and you can say the same thing about african americans do.

It's like all of this racism and hate. You think the world would be better differently because it wouldn't be no. And I mean we've been seeing, we even see the race, the racism in Ukraine, right? Like when a black volunteers were trying to go to Ukraine to help out, there was a notice saying like, hey, you're gonna get called the N word by Ukrainians and it's okay, but it shouldn't be okay. So it's, this is a thing that is not just happening in the United States. It's going all around the world, right?

They hate the and and who's like you said, who's benefiting not only the politicians, but the people in power because they need to, these people need to have a boogeyman in order to blame their economic failure on them. Rather than saying we are taking advantage of you, we are getting all the money and we're not giving you shot. And because of us now you have nothing right. But people don't like to to really, they tribal eyes things they don't like to really think about the bigger picture and understanding that if we are separated, which is what they're doing, we are weaker, right?

I mean, I always tell a lot of, a lot of folks within the movement, especially white folks, not that we don't want you here. We think that your best place is to educate your white community when we know that white folks are talking to other white folks about race and understanding that the reason that you are on the slumps is not because of a black person or a latino person or a trans person is because of the fact that your representative is utilizing these strokes in order to keep you oppressed.

Then you understand that solidarity goes beyond your race and it should go around others, right? But it's not my job as a Latina was uh, once it is my job as a trans person to educate folks, right? Especially working in a um, and uh for equality taxes. But my job as a Latina is not to tell white folks hey, you're being racist. My job is to organize my people, right? And I tell and I keep on telling people 1-1, 1 person told me. But how can I organize in San Antonio there's plenty of places where white folks gather and you can organize and the best way to organize is to challenge their views without challenging their views.

You're not going to change minds. Nina Turner, Nina Turner said, Yeah, Nina Turner said once we need to, we need to be comfortable and making others uncomfortable. And the best way to make others uncomfortable is by creating conversations that challenge you with your point of view. Yeah. And asking questions that you might be afraid to ask. I mean these are difficult topics and you know, I'm sure that no, I have no, I I admit I'm ignorant of a lot of things, right? I mean, but the difference is being willing to learn and be willing to say, oh, you know what?

Yeah, I can see how that's not that way I think is incorrect. That's how we learn and grow as humans. And I think the greatest thing about being human is I love making mistakes, right? Because that gives me an opportunity to learn something and there's no shame in that, you know, And I think for a lot of people too, I think like especially with like racism, you see a lot of people, I've watched a few documentaries where people have come from like, you know, groups like the KKK and whatever.

And the biggest barrier to them is just being able to admit Yeah, that was wrong. And on the other side is there's a lack of willingness to be able to kind of forgive them and like, okay, you've changed to embrace people's growing Yeah. What you, you know, you even been, you know what you did in the past. Yeah, that was problematic. That was wrong. You know, But hey, if you're willing to change, if you're willing to become tolerant, come on over right. We seem to have this barrier on both sides here that we need to break down exactly exactly an enemy, but we also have to challenge when the right keeps on saying if you're not tolerant to buy intolerance, then you're also intolerant, right?

Like, you know, no, I am not gonna allow to reduce me to nothing just to be tolerant of your intolerance because that's not how it works, right? So we need to stop giving people passes that are being racist, bigots homophobic and transphobic. We need to challenge them instead of saying like, well he's my friend. No, like you don't change minds by allowing them to continue being on the wrong right? And and and staying quiet when they say, well you're not that tolerant, are you? Well, I am tolerant.

That's what makes me different. But let's make sure that you're getting to the same place that I'm in and why are you, why do you have those thoughts against this community? Not just the trans community but the gay community or the latino community or the black community. Why are you there? Right. And understanding when they're why they feel the way they feel is the power to change those minds. When you start arguing with somebody you already lost them. It's having those conversations that sometimes can be difficult, right?

And and and I find um that many people do not want to challenge those thoughts. And and and I'm not talking just about white folks. I'm talking about latino folks or black folks who also have this transphobic views because they're so entrenched with religion, right? That they believe that our lives are not valid, right? So whenever I see an ally who is also a black or latino Ally, how you challenged your friend have your challenge your family rather than avoiding them, Right? It's and and that's that's how we're gonna be changing minds.

Well, tell me about your non because that's imagine, I mean you're you have an impressive resume um as an activist. I mean my goodness. Um you're the co founder of an organization, Trans power SAn Antonio. You've been an advocate for health care, Medical Medical fall. Yes. Um and you were able to get Medicaid expanded from for new mothers from 2 to 6 months. Um, I mean, your your community activism, it's just impressive and I want to thank you. Um but I want you to tell us a little bit about your your the work that you do and your nonprofit in particular Trans power san Antonio What trans power san Antonio is is rather a young organization.

And what we are doing is is provide power to trans folks especially um those who have been again denied. And right now it's a very, very small organization. So what we're doing is just like a second chance of prom. So trans folks can feel themselves to be empowered to to to be in prompt, right? And and everyone is open. My actual job is with the equality texas. I Yes, yes. So I am the community engagement advocacy manager for the equality texas organization, which is part of the quality federation.

So my job is still bring community together teaching them, providing them the tools and the knowledge in order to be able to be leaders within the community and fight uh an advocate for not just for themselves, but advocated a group, right? Like again as a community organizing organizer with I never done anything that didn't require the power of more people behind me In order to obtain what we got. I mean, we got lucky dog to sign into medical for all in 2017, I believe, 2019, because he didn't he wasn't supportive of medical for all right.

And we had like the Democratic Socialists of America in Austin block walking and knocking on doors and collecting stories in order to bring that information to um to Representative Dog. And we did it here in san Antonio with um our revolution. I don't know if you remember a revolution, the group of Bernie Sanders, text organizing project. And and so my job is to really bring community and talk to them and and providing them with the knowledge and the tools, not only about advocating, but how really the system works because a lot of times people are angry and like we were talking earlier, they're angry, but they don't know who they're angry at, they are angry at black folks.

They're angry and latino folks, they're angry at the LGBTQ community. It is my job to tell them you have a right to be angry. You just, your anger should be directed to these people rather than to these people that you're hating on. It is Greg Abbott, right? Or it is dan Patrick who is ensuring that we don't have a minimum wage job other than 7 25 here in texas, right? It is Greg Abbott who is not holding our God to account and ensuring like we just had a a warning this morning.

No, actually, yesterday saying that starting yesterday with my experience blackouts, because the grid in texas is overwhelming because we have 100 and seven degrees of temperature because again, climate change is real, right? So when I talk to people, it's not about yes, let's be angry and let's do something. Yes, you're angry. This is the reason you should be angry. Let's do something about it. And you know, I think a lot, it's easy for us to even kind of, you know, and and there are differences obviously, um, in states like texas, like I'm in Washington, which is what we call Blue State, but I think it's easy for people to just see all of texas's right, right?

So there's no hope in texas because it's all, you know, or all states are, you know, everything that's perfect in Blue States and you know, and that's just not how it is. And no, no, I again, just being trans in texas, one might think, oh, that's but texas has got a lot of progressive areas in it, right? Texas, we always they always say texas a red state. The truth is texas is a non voting state, only 35% of people vote and when it comes to local elections is the worst like an army general election got only 12% of the vote in san Antonio 12% 12%.

So it's not that texas is we? When I was working with texas organizing project, they were able to do a survey in the and three of the biggest cities in texas san Antonio Houston texas in Dallas texas. Dallas being one of the most conservative quote unquote cities in texas, right. And um one of the questions was do you support and are you willing to stand up for the LGBT community and san Antonio that issue was number two which was really cool. Houston also was number two, we were thinking Dallas was gonna be done five or six like rather low it was number three so people care it's just are not they're not getting out there to vote right?

And and and I know voting is and I tell people voting is not the end all the old fix our problems it is the first step into activism because voting will allow you to go in front of representatives and demand them that they do what they said that they're gonna do. I consider myself to not be part of any party right? I consider myself to be more in this socialist area, right? And so I have a lot of hunger Tours also the Democratic Party. I mean, we had again 50 years to codify roe and it hasn't happened.

It is very disgusting. We're losing time to qualify marriage equality because we know that's the next thing for the Supreme Court and it's not happening. We have nancy Pelosi uh stomping for henrique wear a known anti choice representative. Right? So I cannot, in my good heart going to communities, I've organized to tell them go vote for the Democratic Party because they're gonna help you when in fact, that's the reason texas don't vote. You have no idea how many conversations I've had with people saying I voted, I voted before I am still poor.

I still don't have healthcare. I still have to ride a 2-3 hour bus ride to go to my job because you have shared transportation, yep. So like a week and then we have centuries running centuries that are not offering real options and solutions to our, to our people's problems like people want a better job. People want access to healthcare. And the last few elections. Health care was actually number two, The last What, 6, 7 years in Texas? Health care has been the number one issue and nothing has been done, right?

The biden presidency had the opportunity to expand Medicaid to all non expanded Medicaid states, but what did they do? Cinema and mansion decided to stand in the middle and not really fight for ending the filibuster. So we end up getting nothing and who won again, corporations, rich people because more tax breaks and more money were given to them through the, through the last legislation that passed, which was the infrastructure legislation than the build back, better legislation that would have actually supported low income families. So at the end of the day, we're still bending the knee, both democrats and republicans to the god of money.

Yeah, it really is. It's it's when we talk about the 1%, I mean that's exactly what I mean, the global ruling class. And I'm, you know, as I was saying to my my guest before I am just it is it's really, really hard to to just keep supporting the Democratic Party when it just seems like an issue after issue after issue. It's almost like Yeah. And in some cases they compromise ahead of time before there's even a fight. And it's like, you know, you say that you're, you know, you're you're pro choice.

We just saw that that news actually saying that biden was ready to put a judge and uh in a state that was anti choice, not only he was anti choice, he was racist, he was homophobic, but he was ready to work with mitch McConnell to get something done in and give him a judge. Like can you see what's happening and you're still going to give them judges. How can I trust you, yep. And just yesterday biden made a or I guess his press secretary made a comment disparaging some of the activists.

The pro the pro choice activists, what the hell are you doing? You really they just we just lost reproductive rights and and and instead of going after the republicans, you're going after your own people again. But they'd much rather protect the Supreme Court justices. I mean they mobilize rather quickly once um roe versus wade was actually struck down that mobilized really quickly to protect these people right? Like there is really no checks and balances because the same party that is saying that is fighting for me is the same party that is putting things on the books to protect the people who are oppressing me.

So kind of like I told this judge who unfortunately one here is Antonio uh he we were fighting for this thing basically not this thing, you know, basically. So we were fighting here in san Antonio for basically and we want it right. Unfortunately texas has this law where It's a preemption law that no other city or county can pass and um increase in wages because against the Texas law. Well the way that we crafted the bill, once it passed uh we were able to gather 174,000 signatures which is over the double of signatures that he needed. Right?

So once he passed we started working with the city in order to take it away from a minimum wage job or not minimum wage the wage conversation and really bring it into public health. So the basic leave was for a bigger company, you will get eight days a year For basically paid for by the company for smaller companies like 50 employees or less is six days, which is reasonable, reasonable. We're not asking for three months off Right well uh we were able to craft a bill saying that it was all about public health because we didn't want people who got sick from the flu that was before covered the flu or a call to come back to work, especially on service jobs san Antonio is mostly a service city, right?

And we wanted to protect not just the people who work there, but also the people who are the patriots. Well this judge who claims to be a family judgment is a democrat. He struck down the legislation and when when we confronted him, he actually said is I was just upholding the law to what I replied things atrocities against people of color, low income communities, minorities have been done under the premise of I was doing my job and I was upholding the law. So at one point you stopped being in my side and you start becoming the oppressor and you sir are our oppressor.

He they escorted me out after right that that that freedom that they keep talking about, you know, the freedom to escort you out when you say something is, but if you're a Supreme Court justice, you can take away rights and you're expected to have privacy during the state dinner. Oh my God, I was laughing when I saw, I'm like, you're making our lives healthier, It's our time to make your life hell yeah, it's time to make you uncomfortable. Exactly. And it was just funny too that they had to escort him into a back alley and it's just like how how fucking fitting is that right?

You have to escape to a back. I mean the whole thing was just like, yeah, there's irony there big time. Yeah, it is, it's just really frustrating cause as you say, you know, you elect people and and again, the whole premise of the law, they treat this as all, it's like some sort of absolutist thing. The law changes. We don't need to be or the originalist the you know, the constitutional, you know what, it's a piece of paper with words on it written by a bunch of men who had slaves who are morally bankrupt in many ways.

I think that we can evolve our society beyond the confines of what these people, you know, originally said and still have a country, right? Exactly. It's an excuse and they know that it's an excuse, it's all the benefit, the ruling class. And I don't think I I kind of think the abortion issue is sort of gonna be interesting because I don't think that, I think the Republican party valued at more as a political tool, just just like the democrats, right? It's, you know, it's always been a cudgel, hey, elect Justin will will repeal abortion or elect because we're gonna protect abortion.

It's always been a convenient way to get people to the polls. And now it's kind of become a reality. And so it's going to be interesting to see how republicans are gonna have to deal with that because I mean, forever decision, there's a consequence and for them to think it might not happen this election, right? But for them to think that they're gonna go without a consequence. I mean, seriously, if texas wasn't was a non voting state before, I think that we have the ammunition really because I mean the even um violence like gun violence in school, school shootings is not moving these people.

It's not moving these people. It happened three hours away from san Antonio the casualties, right? And it's not moving these people any any any. It irks me honestly, when I keep on hearing people's um, this is not political. I am sorry, the moment that you hold a gun to shoot a kid that ship is political, that is political. When you hear the guy who should, uh, the folks in new york and he had a why supremacy type of uh, what is it called manifesto that is political.

So for you to continue saying this is not a political conversation, you just don't want to have that conversation. You're uncomfortable to not have that conversation because everything is political right? From my existence as a trans woman to holding a gun that is political. I I hear pride in san Antonio. We went to a meeting and we asked them if we can chant some things and they're like as long as they're not political. And I'm like Pride began as a political rally cry rally, right? Like you cannot take politics out of pride because that's the only reason that it exists.

Police brutality. The way that the LGBT community was prosecuted by politicians, right? They were being outed, losing their jobs. Everything is political. And so it is, it's crazy when I hear people, this is not political. Everything from the roads to your breath is political. Absolutely. And that's the whole premise of people forget that politics is about the organization of people. It's not about the protection establishment of power, it's about the people. But your your word. I think it's because I was listening to some of your conversations with previous guests before and it's the way that it's been tribal Now.

Like you see that your democrat or you're a republican or you're a democrat and you're a republican wishes before. There used to be some sort of difference. Now it's completely polar opposites, right? Like where we cannot even have that conversation and it's because I feel um the Republican Party gave too much power to this religious salad, right? And then trump came into office and just bonafide those racist antics and anti trans actors and and and and homophobia antics that gave fuel to these people to come out of the Woodworks.

And now I was listening to these other podcast to where they were saying in florida, they take the uh the Cunanan is taking over the House of Representatives, that's what all the crap is going on in florida. Meanwhile, here where we cannot even get our craft together. Somebody on the left does something and everybody's attacking that person instead of saying, well, can we work together, can we work together because the other I don't want to work with, let's be honest, but can we work together with the people who are actually doing work that are going to benefit us instead of killing each other with uh for real small things.

At the end of the day, when we are continuing to fracture in ourselves, especially the left, we are continue keeping leaving people vulnerable, right? So it is whenever we get strong that we see those changes happen and I and I keep on going back to that because we see that happening again in florida. We see even with the D. S. A in Nevada, I just got an article that very progressive folks are finally taking over the party and uh West Virginia, which um joe Manchin now is scared, right?

So let's start working together because right now we have no viability for a third party as much as I would love to, but we have the people to start making the change locally in our freaking Democratic Party and it's time for us to come together like the socialist in Nevada, like the people in west Virginia to challenge the folks who have continued, Hang on, clinked into power for the last 2030, 40 years. Yeah, and a lot of the problem too is we have a media system that that is designed to support the status quo.

It's it's a huge and and that's an impediment you get, I mean, bringing people together, I mean, people don't understand class solidarity either, it seems because it is very tribal. I don't you have to work with people that you disagree with on sometimes fundamental issues to find points of agreement that you can achieve if someone's are racist, they still need health care. So, you know, if you could find a you know, I mean, and then along the way, change their racist views, you know, challenge them, but find ways to work together on issues where you can and that that is absolutely what we're missing.

Yes, and and and I mean many times we've we've knocked on doors and we talked to people who are very republican and I mean they were disparaging the black community or disparaging the latino community, but once we started talking about health care and the reason we are we have such a crappy healthcare system or even housing right now with the housing um crisis. People were like sign me up. And then little by little their views began to shift from conservative two. I understand now the plight of the Latino folks and the black folks and I understand that they're not my enemies.

And then I understand that there are my comrades in the struggle. So who is my real enemy? And I think that the right, it's amazing at creating that division and we are not, we are no good disparaging, not disparaging dispersing that misinformation, right? Because we don't have the same arm. Uh going back to, I kept on telling my my partner because he does watch CNN and I'm like, dude, huh? And I'm like, I listened to some of them but CNN I although they've like before, I don't consider them fake news.

I consider them a source of news that they only tell you what they want you to know, right? So it's very um curated news in order to continue telling the people little things that they did important. We didn't see the news talking about the net neutrality fight when it was happening with, I did um I forgot his last name, right? We didn't why? Because they were benefiting from getting rid of net neutrality. So it's I I tell, I tell my partner like sometimes it's good to start reading other sources that are actually investigative journalists.

I'm sorry Rachel motto is not a investigative journalists and neither is chris cuomo, which he got fired, but but I mean they're not, I mean all there are there are is talking puppets. Yeah, yeah, they're celebrities is what they are. I mean Rachel Maddow at one point was a very good journalist. Once you get into that that ecosystem right? It is, it's all designed to as non chomsky says manufactured consent and they do a very good job at that. Um they pick and choose the stories they cover and what they're really selling.

I think that people don't realize is they're not in the business of of news, they're in the business of advertising. The news is just the content in the middle. It's all about the advertising revenue and I don't know about CNN but you know, I was watching MSNBC a while back, I just had a curiosity and I how to stop watching. I just wanted to see because it just, it seems like totally just watching it and like, you know, it seems like you've got like a few seconds of them talking puppets and then all news and so I did a little test and I timed it and it turns out I was right, you have more minutes of advertising then you do actually even more so than on a network television where, you know, you're watching a tv show, it's amazing how many commercial breaks and how long those breaks are compared to the actual content.

So it really tells you right there where their priority is. Exactly. I mean, I'm even angry right now because my partner repeated the same tropes saying like the gas prices are high because of Russia's conflict and I'm like, no, but apparently right. But it's like, I could, I probably would have said yes, if I wouldn't be reading about what's really going on and how like the United States only get like 1-2% of oil from Russia. So why are we having high prices when we really literally have nothing to do with the oil in Russia?

Right. So it's, you have to yourself push to find those news and to find that real um investigative journalism in order to understand what's happening around that. And I don't like, unfortunately, the way that capitalism is working right now, do you have no time. You're either working to the three jobs and have no time but get home and and, and provide for your Children, right? Or you are creating content on Tiktok. I don't know what people are doing now, but, and that is not enough time to really discern and, and and and take it upon yourself to go into other news outlets and find out what really is happening.

I, I honestly really enjoy um going into podcasts and and when they told me about your podcast, I started listening to your podcast and I'm enjoying it. But it's those type of of folks who are bringing people who are actually in the middle of um crap going on that is really letting me know how the country is really going right. Uh even I love um best of the left or unpacking the Republic, which is a really cool um podcast. But it's it's on fucking the Republic. It's really, really yes, it's very informative too.

It's like and it breaks it down in a really fun way about a lot of issues that are happening, how we got here, right? And and and I feel like from learning that to listening to true news is what's giving me the opportunity to mold my mentality the way that it is today. I think that if I would have kept on listening to uh MSNBC or CNN I still would have been like, Hillary is our savior. Yeah. She was right about everything. Everything. It's like really was she right about selecting a anti abortion abortion?

I mean, was she right? I mean people don't even realize that she actually encouraged and part of her campaign strategy us to elevate. Donald trump. Exactly. I don't think she was right about that. That didn't turn out so well, but people have like selective amnesia. That's what they do have. Yeah. And they don't realize too, I mean, you know, Obama for okay. Yes, he did, he did some good things. But when you, a lot of what he did do though is he handed, it seems like one president after another hands, the next president.

This enormous expansion of powers end up getting used ways that are extremely detrimental. And unfortunately, I mean, and Obama gave, I mean, he should have dismantled the national security state, but he didn't, she shouldn't reverse Bush's taxes. Yeah, he should have done that. He should have gone, you know those that tortured. I mean, all of those things when you don't do that and you don't hold the system accountable. I mean, I like to tell people trump is a symptom. He was created by the system, but he is a symptom, he is not the problem.

And if we don't solve the problem, we're lucky that we got trump in a way because my fear is we're going to get someone who's actually competent and worse and worse we can, and we can get a uh Hitler like that, which we wouldn't know it was him because like you said, he's gonna be eloquent, he's gonna be nicer. He's gonna be um, someone that people relatable and that's the worst person to lead a country, right? Because we are on the brink of fascism. And and like you said, I I find that very hilarious every time that trump would do something horrible where a lot of folks said how this is not my country.

I don't even recognize this country. Um and I'm like, but it's always been this way for you to not to to say that right now is either you refused to see before or you live in Iraq. But the like the truth is our communities Have been struggling for the last 20 years and no one is out there too. I mean there was a reason we had occupied Wall Street and um during the Obama years, not because everything was rosy and amazing. It was because people were struggling and again, instead of punishing the wealthy who took advantage of this folks who thought that they could own a house and have the american dream and were due by this um Wall Street folks, they rewarded them and punish us like I mean when we start realizing that Obama was cool but he wasn't a great president is when we're gonna start realizing that the democrats are not here to help us.

And if we are not changing the way that these people are continue staying in power, then we're never gonna change. Like we could pass medical for all tomorrow. But with the Supreme Court the way that it is, they can find it unconstitutional in next year, right? And say that it's because it infringes on the rights of insurance companies. So unfortunately this time we cannot do shit. So you see that we have three choices abolish the Supreme Court expand the court or push for term limits and that's the only thing that that we're gonna get out of this.

Yeah and I I unfortunately I do think things are gonna get a lot worse before they start to get better and I mean if we don't uh huh. It I don't even know what what politically I mean I I know that we got joe biden is certainly if he thinks he's gonna win another term, he's out of it. He's even crazier than I think he is. I mean poll numbers down Camilla hair. I mean just it's so frustrating to hear these people speak when they're asked questions.

You know like Camilla Harris when she was asked well you know people want you to do but do what do what you're the vice president? You don't know, you don't know. I mean I mean their jobs is literally to whip votes. The reason biden won the primary of the Democratic Party is because the last president whipped all of the other contenders into dropping out to support biden. So the job of the president, the president is to really get the people in Congress and the people in the senate to support their legislation and that's the same job of the freaking I think I saw the same interview where she was just dancing around the issue and she wasn't providing any type of solutions and it's like are you responding because that's the way you feel, or because that's the way that biden is asking you to feel right?

I mean, I remember during the, the debate that she had with the person who was gonna be vice president, uh I think it was pence, yes, it was pence when, when she had the way with pins and um I remember during the primary, she supported getting rid of fracking and the oil industry and she was very foreign Kamala Harris and then trying to defend Biden's position on fracking. It was very funny to me because you can tell that this is not the ship that I believe, but I have to, so who is the real Kamala Harris, right?

And why are you not coming out and saying this is what we can do and I'm going to challenge Biden to do it. Yeah, no, it's just if the, they won't even use their voice and say the things that would get people to at least say, hey, because that's the beauty of, I mean trump for people like, oh he didn't do anything he did and what what he did. I think most of all was used that bully pulpit, he used his words and he made it rather or not, he fought for people is is irrelevant.

He acted the part, he played the part and people believed in him. I mean the rallies that he went to, I think that that's a great thing for presidents to do, right? I mean and not particularly his hate rallies, but I mean connecting with people, that's why people love him. I mean they think, I mean is Yeah, yeah, but they also think that oh he relates to me because he comes to this, you know town that no one else no president has ever come to before. You know these small towns and has hold these rallies and and you know, he gets what I mean a lot of the job of the presidency is all about appearance. Yeah.

You know, and using that and and think of but think about it like he did a lot, I mean might not done a lot of legislation, but the reason we have all these many trans attacks throughout the country is because he started it with first the nine trans folks from serving in the army and then trying to deny trans folks from getting access to the health care to the affordable care act, right? So he started the attacks in the trans community and look at how big has gotten the masks.

Okay when we were talking about the mask, he made sure that most of his people did the rallies without mask and uh, is an infringement of my freedom, Zimbabwe, blah blah. So he utilized like you said, his bully pulpit, he utilized his stage to mobilize people and I, which is something that I think Bernie did amazingly well as well right and and I don't think that biden is able to do that. I think the best thing at this point is to keep them away from the cameras and the mics you just go silent because every time they speak, they just make things worse.

That seems. I mean just they either insult people. Um, or they're frustrated us as organizers. They're frustrated because it's like, so we're fighting a republican party. Well, at the same time fighting a Democratic party that's standing on the way because they don't want to do anything for us. Absolutely. Unfortunately we are out of time for you to join us because I had so much fun and there's so much more I want to ask you. So I hope you'll come back. But tell us where people can find more about you and and how they can help your nonprofit organizations that you have.

Um, sure. I mean, you can always go trance power. We don't have a website, You can always find us on facebook or instagram. It's trance power san Antonio and for equality texas is equality texas dot org and you can donate and especially now we need a lot of money in order to win. We've like I said, they're, they're thinking of bringing back all the legislation that they weren't able to pass last legislative session plus the don't say gay bill in texas. So, um, please help us out, we need a lot of help and we need a lot of of y'all like if you want to volunteer check the volunteers, especially you're in texas.

You wanna volunteers. You want to get engaged to equality texas dot org. Put your name. We'll call, I'll call you and get to work together. Yeah. And you know, I want people to understand this. It is imperative that we fight these issues on a state by state basis because again, what happens in florida is going to happen in texas. And if we can stop that in texas, we can stop it from happening in other states. But we can't we have we can't wait and depend on federal, you know, intervention.

So please please please um, donate volunteer. Do what you can um, you know, contacts of fear because we got to stop these laws at the state level. Um, changes happen at the local level to get engaged in your local elections. So thank you so much. Sophia we'll definitely have you back on the show. Um Again, thank you so much. And we're gonna go ahead and put the links and everything down in our description down below. Great, great day. I enjoyed it. Thank you sean for the fight.

Thank you very much. We'll see you next Tuesday at 2:00.

Sofia SepulvedaProfile Photo

Sofia Sepulveda

Community Engagement and Advocacy Manager

Sofia is a first generation Mexican American Trans-Woman, she grew up in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and came to San Antonio to continue her studies.
She has been organizing in San Antonio for the past 8 years on Healthcare and Environmental Justice, she is the lead organizer for the Healthcare for All march in San Antonio, co-founder of Trans Power San Antonio, as well as organized the Women's March in Washington San Antonio, for the last 4 years. She was recognized as one of the 25 influential women who definitely run San Antonio in 2019 for her work in healthcare, which in 2021 alongside with amazing activists and organizers in Texas were able to pass legislation that extended Medicaid for new mothers from 2 to 6 months. She also sits in the board of Healthcare-Now, Transgender Education Network of Texas and Community Advisory Board for Centro Med in San Antonio.

In my free time I love doing Yoga, hiking, cooking and baking and spending time with my two dogs.

Jesse A JamesProfile Photo

Jesse A James


I am a 29-year-old working class citizen, stricken to the core by the dissonant state of our political climate and ready to do what I can to make a positive change in our country! I have always had a great love of music and film, and have worked in these fields on and off throughout my life. Last year, I ran for Seattle City Council, running against the regressive Sweetened Beverage Tax and the unfair conditions of the Democracy Voucher Program. While my run wasn't particularly successful, I feel it was the learning experience needed to bring me here today.