Given the radical forms of exclusion experienced by trans Latina individuals in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the "Trans Latinas Rompiendo Barreras" Project represents a collective search for community resilience through meaningful learning, the promotion of supportive relationships, increased access to resources, and practices of self-care.
Executive Summary from the Final Report:
• “Trans Latinas Rompiendo Barreras” (TLRB) was a collaborative project between frontline workers at the Center for Spanish Speaking Peoples (CSSP) and researchers of the University of Toronto (U of T) with members of the trans Latina community participating in the group Trans Latinas Ontario (TLO).
• TLRB came about in response to the radical socio-economic exclusion of trans Latinas in Toronto, who navigate the intersecting challenges of being transgender and being migrants.
• The project included a series of 12 biweekly workshops (Phase 1) and a six-month peer-led monthly Self-Care Peer Advocacy (SPA) get-together (Phase 2).
• The workshops were designed in collaboration with TLO and were responsive to members changing needs. They included sessions in three major areas: self-care, belonging (or social inclusion), and economic inclusion.
• The workshop series were evaluated and received generally positive feedback from participants.
• Challenges included: Finding resources and programs tailored to the needs of migrant transwomen; budgetary restrictions in securing wholesome and nutritious meals; and political and economic structures that made it diffcult for women who identify as trans and do not have immigration status to access services, programs, and benefits.
• Positive components included: participants reported feeling grateful and proud that they had a space to call their own; participants were referred to Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre for clinical care; and some participants were hired as Peer Leaders/Peer Volunteers by CSSP.
• As a result of this experience, the TLRB team has a number of recommendations to others developing programs for migrants transwomen and vulnerable populations .
• Phase 2 of the project is underway and being led by graduates of the workshop series with the support of an advisory committee.