Each year, thousands of Mexican nationals immigrate illegally to Los Angeles in search of better opportunities and a safe, sustainable way of living. They work in the shadows, undocumented, hoping that their efforts will pay off and that they will become citizens. For the transgender individuals among them, the shadows are even more difficult to overcome. Faced with discrimination and the challenges of being undocumented, many transgender immigrants turn to the sex industry, often falling prey to its many dangers, including drug addiction, sexual violence, and HIV, simply to survive. Crossing Over: Stories of Immigration and Identity interweaves the stories of three such transgender Latina immigrants who came to the U.S. from Mexico in search of a better life.
The film tells the stories of three women from Mexico living in Los Angeles: Brenda, 44, a matriarch in the trans community who is HIV-positive; Francis, 42, who’s been in the United States for 15 years and is trying to lead a normal life; and Abigail, 28, who’s putting herself through community college and struggling to move on from the demons and persecution of her past.
A panel follows the film.
– Larry Helfner, Duke Law School. Chair
– Erik Valera, Program Director for Latinos in the Deep South at the Latino Commission on AIDS
– Alex Cordova, LGTB coordinator. El Centro Hispano
– Joaquin Carcaño, Trans Latino advocate, UNC HIV Project Coordinator Enlaces por la Salud.
– Cristina Morales, LGTB Advocate. El Centro Hispano.
9:00pm – 11:00pm. Parade & Dance Party: Duke Coffee House