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Small Hillcrest non-profit taking on big task of helping trans, non-binary immigrants

Transfronteras is a small non-profit in Hillcrest, focusing on helping trans and non-binary people get settled soon after crossing the border.

SAN DIEGO — A small San Diego non-profit is trying to make the daunting task of migrating to the U.S. a bit easier for trans and non-binary people.

At Transfronteras' office in Hillcrest, we met a trans woman named Diana. In Spanish, she said she's first and foremost thankful to God for allowing her to be where she is. She's 29 years old and left Honduras at 21

Since losing her mother to leukemia at 17, she said she decided to make the journey to the United States in search of a better life, like many others do. Once she got here, she found help from the non-profit Transfronteras.

Franya Dutchman is the head of the organization. She said their goal is to help trans and non-binary people get settled once they're here, by offering the basics we all need like toiletries, clothing, food, medication, and even a temporary place to stay.

"I'm so happy to try to help trans women because I know how much [they] need in their life," Dutchman said.

According to data from UCLA, 1.6 million people 13 and older identify as transgender. Meantime, trans people are more than four times more likely to be victims of a violent crime, compared to cisgender people. According to GLAAD, 2021 was the deadliest year for trans people; and the outlook is not much better in many other countries. 

We also met Cristal, who identifies as non-binary. They are 19, and just got here from Honduras. They tell us they were determined to make it here, even if they had to sleep under a bridge. After getting help, they now volunteer with Transfronteras,  to pass it along.

For more information on Transfronteras, visit their Facebook page or their offices in Hillcrest.

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