Following Caitlyn Jenner’s debut on the cover of Vanity Fair, KQED’s Forum devoted its June 3rd episode to the transgender community and invited a panel of local transgender leaders, including TLC’s Isa Noyola, to share their personal experiences and reactions to the national conversation. Isa was joined on the panel by Fresh White, Jamie Rafaela Wolfe, and Sawyer Steele.
Listen below, and see some of our favorite Isa quotes below!
On Caitlyn Jenner and the current “trans moment:”
“It’s amazing to see a trans person living their authentic truth and to be able to show society that we are a part of the fabric of this community, and that we have existed. One of the narratives I do challenge is the idea that for trans folks, this is a huge moment for us, when in reality I think that trans folks have existed in all major civilizations. We’ve been a part of the fabric of every society, indigenous cultures — trans people played really important roles in indigenous societies.”
On dehumanization and immigration:
“Last week, I was part of an action in Santa Ana and I was arrested and booked, and that whole experience was pretty transphobic from the guards, from the folks within the booking process. They disregarded our identities, they disregarded our humanity, and it was very much the state letting me know that trans people really don’t exist within their context of detention and prison.”
On gender, colonization, and being a TransLatina:
“In thinking about the ways in which these Latin American countries and particularly Mexico, where my family’s from, have been colonized, one of the first things the colonizers did was destroy the history and destroy artifacts and things that meant so much to our communities. Part of that was destroying this gender piece and this identity around how trans folks can really think about gender in a more complex way. And so for me, to think of myself as a TransLatina is to reclaim that indigenous heritage and to reclaim that indigenous culture that has been taken away from us.”