“We’re going to have to stick together.”
Carmen Carrera has long been an active activist and educator while juggling her own successful modeling career. As a trans woman, Carrera has fought for the right to just live as anybody else in the U.S. is entitled to live. President Donald Trump’s recent decision to do away with federal protections for trans students that were implemented by President Barack Obama has sent waves of shock, anger, and grief through the LGBTQ community. In an interview with People magazine and an op-ed for Cosmopolitan, Carrera argues her case for protecting trans youth in the U.S.
“I wanted to try my best to believe that [Trump would] be here for us and to understand what we were going through. I would just urge him to look at the facts and to understand the people that he’s affecting and how they are being affected,” Carrera told People. “Just take a couple of moments to empathize with what we’re going through.”
Carrera is concerned that Trump’s actions are going to negatively impact America’s trans youth.
“What’s happening right now is unfair. It sends a message to kids that we need to be segregated and that certain people shouldn’t have the same rights as everyone else,” Carrera told Cosmopolitan. “When the leader of our country makes a bold ruling like that, it opens up the door for more bullies and more kids wanting to commit suicide. That’s just terrible.”
Carrera says she experienced the pain and fear of “being different” when she was in grade school.
“Growing up, I was kind of like the quiet, shy kid in school. I got kicked out of Catholic school, by the way, because I was too feminine. I was too feminine and I had a crush on this boy named Anthony and the nuns were not having it,” Carrera told Cosmopolitan. “I ended up going to public school in the first grade, and that’s when I knew I had to be very strategic about my survival in school. I tried my best to be friends with people who were going to protect me. I hid behind people. As a result, I didn’t go to my prom, I didn’t get to have any slumber parties, I didn’t get to develop myself as a young person — it really impaired my growth.”
Now that Carrera is older, she is still learning to grow.
“Now it feels like I’m going through puberty in my late 20s, early 30s. I’m having to develop my coping skills and develop my people skills, my personality,” Carrera told Cosmopolitan.
Carrera wants trans youth in the U.S. to know that they are not alone.
“Just know that we’re here to fight for this. I’m trying to break ground in the industries I work in and I’m doing it for the trans youth across the globe,” Carrera told People.
Lastly, Carrera wants young trans people to know that there are resources available to help them.
“We’re going to have to stick together. We’re going to have to be strong,” Carrera told People. “You can reach out to The Trevor Project, they have a hotline that, if you’re feeling down [or] if you feel like you need something really uplifting, you can go and call The Trevor Project.”