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  WINDY CITY TIMES

T in the Life: Alexis A. Martinez
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2012-02-15

This article shared 6567 times since Wed Feb 15, 2012
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Identifies as

Transwoman, lesbian, socialist and Evangelical Christian

Neighborhood

Andersonville

When did you start questioning gender?

"At age four, I was aware that I was a girl. As briefly as I can express it, it was the beginning of a double life. I would try to live the masculine role that would gain approval and in secret hold on to my identity as a girl and later as a woman."

What is your coming out story?

"I came out totally at the age of 21 ... only to retreat back into hiding at 30. Social and family pressure led to guilt, shame, drugs, etc. I am now living openly as a transwoman and am very much at peace with myself. That 'peace' is probably the best thing about being trans.

Whom do you admire most?

"The person I admire the most is my mother, Jesusita Meza. She raised five children after my dad deserted us. She is MY idea of a working-class feminist. She worked in some terrible sweat shop factories. On weekends, she would sing in taverns for tips. I believe that I survived and prospered because I learned from my mom. It took her a few years to accept me as her daughter, but I remember the day she showed one of her friends a picture of her 'other' daughter.

Do you consider yourself an activist?

"Yes, I consider myself an activist. I am a core organizer of Dyke March Chicago."

What issues outside of the queer community do you care about?

"I am also a Christian. I am a believer in Jesus Christ. I don't debate or fight with people ... either pro or con about my religion. The biggest mistake that Christians make is they are always spouting off about God's will."

What do you think are the most important issues facing the trans/ gender-variant community?

"I believe that there are serious issues that are unique to the trans community. Among those issues are things like public accommodations, access to public restrooms, fitting rooms, driver's licenses, passports and visas… healthcare, especially trans-related treatments and employment discrimination. In a larger context, I believe that the LGBT community is a microcosm of the American experience. We face the same economic challenges, religious battles, racial divisiveness… that are common to all. We also share desires for affordable healthcare, employment, housing, education etc."


This article shared 6567 times since Wed Feb 15, 2012
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