In her journey on foot from Honduras to the United States, Michelle encounters family rejection, transphobia, and border patrol. In this video, created in a filmmaking workshop led by Outside the Frame and Oregon State University, Michelle provides simple directions on how to listen, provide space and solidarity, and believe in yourself.
Michelle was part of a “Rainbow Caravan” of migrants, including LGBTQ people, fleeing to the United States to escape transphobic and homophobic political violence and persecution in their home countries.
In any country, family rejection can lead youth to run away from home; in the U.S., recent estimates suggest that up to 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT. The National Runaway Safeline can provide support (1-800-Runaway).
This episode was produced with support from ENLACE, the “Engaging the Next Latinx Allies for Change and Equity” program at Oregon State University. ENLACE builds solidarity and amplifies youth voices, connecting Latinx and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth in fighting the epidemic of social isolation affecting our queer youth today. Learn more about how these videos give youth the opportunity to transform their experiences with isolation into powerful tools that help others in ENLACE director Jonathan Garcia’s commentary.
Jonathan Garcia , Ph.D., is Assistant Professor and Program Director of Global Health at Oregon State University. Born in Medellin, Colombia, his work strives to achieve health equity for Latinx queer immigrants like himself. As Program Director of the ENLACE Program, he amplifies the voices of queer youth to bridge solidarity for public health and social justice. Jonathan earned a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University. In 2021, he was awarded the ASPPH Early Career Teaching Excellence Award in recognition of his outstanding teaching and mentoring. He is a Public Voices Fellow with The OpEd Project. Jonathan lives in Corvallis, Oregon, and speaks Spanish, English and Portuguese.