Transgender Law Center has been growing, and in the past couple of months we welcomed two new incredible staff members: Flor Bermudez and David Patiño.
Now that they’ve had some time to settle in, Advancement Intern Jen Jackson Tribbet interviewed the (teensy bit reluctant) Flor and David about their work, their passions, and the fun things that keep them going. Get to know Flor and David with the video below, and check out their bios at the bottom of the page!
David E. Patiño
Database and Communications Associate
David hails from Medellin, Colombia from where they immigrated at an early age to Massachusetts. From an early age, David considered himself a serious and unrelenting feminist with a passion for advancing racial, economic and gender justice through personal and communal healing and spirituality. They are especially interested in issues facing low-income people of color communities such as immigration, prisoners’ rights, and access to education, health care, and healthy, affordable food. Prior to joining TLC, David graduated from Stanford University, Class of 2014, with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Spanish. David’s work at Stanford centered on community development and outreach through a variety of cultural, LGBT, and spiritual organizations including their sorority Sigma Theta Psi Multicultural Sorority, where David and their sisters successfully advocated for their chapter to be open to Trans Women. David has been supporting the database and communications functions since May 2015.
Detention Project Director
Flor Bermudez is the Director of the Detention Project at Transgender Law Center. Prior to joining Transgender Law Center, Flor served as the Director of the Mental Health and Advocacy Project at Lawyers for Children, where she worked to ensure that children in foster care receive appropriate and necessary mental health services. At Lambda Legal, Flor served as the Youth in Out-of-Home Care Attorney and engaged in litigation to ensure adequate treatment and competent, sensitive, and informed services for LGBTQ youth involved with the child welfare, juvenile justice, and homeless services systems. Flor also spent four years as founding executive director and staff attorney at Esperanza del Barrio, representing immigrant street vendor women in criminal proceedings, and served as a board member of Streetwise and Safe in New York City.
From 2001-2003 Bermudez was a Skadden Public Interest Fellow staff attorney at Mothers on the Move and the Urban Justice Center where she brought affirmative litigation to improve housing conditions, defended group rent strikes and conducted education workshops on tenants’ rights, civil rights and immigration. She also worked as a union organizer for the United Farm Workers and as an ESL Teacher for UNITE. Prior to law school, Bermudez actively participated in several LGBT organizations such as LLEGO, Colectivo Mexicano, Mano a Mano and the Audre Lorde Project.
Flor’s work has been recognized with several awards, including Northeastern University School of Law’s prestigious Daynard Public Interest Fellowship for her role as a “public interest leader,” and two “Best Attorney Under 40” awards from the National Hispanic Bar Association and the National LGBT Bar Association.