National Center for Lesbian Rights

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Transgender asylum

In re Y.G.

Y.G. is a transgender woman from Mexico who suffered severe physical and mental abuse from her family because of her gender identity. Growing up, her family insisted that she act more “masculine,” and she was physically abused when she refused. She went to the police, but they ignored her need for protection. In February 2007, Y.G. was badly beaten by gang members who left her bleeding from head wounds. Fearing for her life, she fled to the United States. In February 2009, she was...

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In re Marta

Marta is a transgender woman from Mexico who suffered unthinkable verbal, physical, and sexual abuse because of her sexual orientation and gender identity. The abuse began in her youth when she was abducted by a group of armed men. When her brother came to rescue her, he was shot to death in front of her. When the police arrived, Marta was arrested for refusing to give them the names of the men who had abducted her. She was put in jail for several days where she was raped by the police. After...

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In re Alejandra

Alejandra is an 18-year-old transgender woman from Guatemala who struggled for her family’s acceptance from a very young age. When Alejandra’s father found out that she identified as a girl, he abandoned the family, leaving Alejandra’s mom to support two kids alone. Alejandra also faced daily verbal and physical attacks. When local leaders decided she should be killed before she could “contaminate the community,” Alejandra’s mother put her daughter on a bus...

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In re Barbara

Born male in El Salvador, Barbara was abused throughout her childhood by family, neighbors, and classmates because she was “too feminine.” When Barbara turned 18, she began to live as a woman, but she still suffered frequent harassment and violence. In one instance, Barbara and her boyfriend were viciously beaten outside of a club. Barbara was kidnapped and taken to an isolated area where she was physically and sexually assaulted. After the kidnapping and assault, Barbara lived in...

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In re Irma

Irma is a Mexican transgender woman who has suffered a lifetime of loss, violence, and abuse. Irma is the eighth of ten children. From a very young age, Irma understood herself to be female. She socialized with girls and believed she would grow up to be a woman. She only started to doubt those beliefs when her family began to taunt her and physically abuse her. Her brothers wanted her to be macho and began to hit her to “toughen her up.” Throughout her life, Irma was targeted for...

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