TRANSCRIPT: TransLash Podcast Episode 3, ‘Immigration, Detention and Trans Rights’

Stephanie Lebow: Just a heads up. Today’s podcast includes details about graphic violence. We’re cautioning you, the listener, in advance.

Imara Jones: Hi fam, welcome to the TransLash Podcast. I’m your host, Imara Jones, fresh from my vacation, which was my couch. But these days, you got to take what you can get. If you’re just tuning in for the first time, this show is all about putting trans voices and our allies front and center in conversations about news, politics and culture.

This week, I’m having some very important conversations about the intersection of immigration and trans experiences. First, I sat down with Maria Hinojosa, the Emmy Award-winning founder of Futuro Studios, to discuss her new book:

Maria Hinojosa: When you are ready to take some space to look at that trauma and to understand that it is actually moving you in ways that you can’t even imagine.

Imara Jones: Plus, you’ll hear from the incredible activist Isa Noyola about the important work she’s doing to end the detention of trans immigrants by ICE.

Isa Noyola: ICE and these detention systems are new formations and not necessarily as old as people would like to think they are, as you know, kind of embedded and they’re actually meant to be destroyed and actually not exist.

Imara Jones: But first, we’re going to start out with a little bit of Trans Joy.

Today, something that’s making me smile is the mutual aid efforts of a justice organization in Arizona. Trans Queer Pueblo is a collective of Trans and Queer migrants of color. They’ve raised over $200,000 to support those in their community who’ve been impacted by the pandemic.

The organization has also liberated at least eight immunocompromised people from ICE detention centers, since the pandemic started. Here is Dagoberto Bailon, co-founder of Trans Queer Pueblo, about their efforts.

Dagoberto Bailon: We strongly believe that in order for us to be free, we have to be the ones leading because we have experienced all of the oppressions. And so it makes sense that when we look at the pandemic, we understood actually the effects that this was going to have in our community because we have seen this time and time again, whether we’re fleeing our countries or whether our countries were in civil war, and so we understood that we needed to create this fund with a purpose far more than just paying rent, but also a way to give our membership tools so that they can come out of this stronger than when the pandemic started.

Imara Jones: Dabogerto, thank you so much for the vital work you and Trans Queer Pueblo are doing. You are Trans Joy.

Now we’re going to move on to our segment The News. Today I’m joined by the brilliant Maria Hinojosa, who spent her career centering the stories of Latino and other underrepresented voices in journalism. Not surprisingly, her work has garnered four Emmys, and a Peabody. With stints at storied names such as CNN, Maria now hosts Latino USA, and is the co-host of the In The Thick podcast.

She’s the founder and CEO of Futuro Media, which just happens to make the TransLash podcast so we’ll be extra on our P’s and Q’s today. Maria is out with a new book called “Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America,” where she uses her own personal story to show how decades of immigration policy got us into the current epic crisis of human rights.

Maria, it’s so great to have you on the show and it’s so much fun, I get to ask the questions this time, I don’t have to answer them like normally on In The Thick.

Maria Hinojosa: And I’m thrilled to be here, and I am actually excited about your questions, Imara. Thank you so much for reading the book and for having me on your fabulous new podcast that yes, we’re partners in this. And I’m so thrilled about that.

Imara Jones: Yeah. Thank you, thank you. Just a general question. I mean, do you I mean, as a journalist, of course, your job is to ask the questions. And I’m wondering, how does it feel to actually have to answer them now, in, in this book?

Maria Hinojosa: Well, I gotta tell you, I kind of love it. You know, when I, I mean, I interview people for a living. That’s what I do, whether it’s Latino USA, or In The Thick, you know, these interviews take a lot of preparation. So, it’s work. So now when I’m being interviewed about my book, “I’m like, Oh, my God, do I have to prepare something?” And I’m like, “No, you wrote the book. It’s your life.” So I’ve really enjoyed actually being behind the mic, and I’m thrilled to be behind the mic talking with you.

Imara Jones: Yeah, I think that’s right. Thank you. I think people don’t understand just how much preparation goes into what they hear, so I can totally relate to just you know, waking up and just having to answer the questions and not fret over all of the stuff we have to do. In the introduction to your book, “A Letter to the Girl at McAllen Airport,” you detail seeing a young girl headed to a family separation facility while you were going to report on the same.

You saw her in an airport and that exchange, that sighting sets off your own memories of having almost endured a similar fate when you first arrived in the US from Mexico decades ago. And I’m wondering how that experience foreshadowed for you where we are and the decades of immigration policy that got us to this point, there wasn’t actually that much separation between you and her, as you lay out.

Maria Hinojosa: Yeah. In this particular moment, I’m at an airport in McAllen, Texas at seven o’clock in the morning, and I’m actually looking for a plug, I’m on my hands and knees, looking for a plug to charge my phone. You know, we all know that story. And that’s when this moment happens when I see this beautiful, stunning little girl. And she’s just kind of staring out into nowhere.

That’s what strikes me is that usually when you see a little kid in an airport, honestly, they don’t even have time to look at you because they’re like, jumping in their seats, they’re like mom and dad, they’re like their grandparents, we’re getting on a plane, they’re excited. This little girl was just sitting there, just sitting there like numb. And that’s, the letter to the little girl in a McAllen airport happens because I am I’m, I go immediately I’m like, “Oh my God, I’ve got to go speak to her.” So I make my way to her and I engage in conversation and then I see that she’s got these chaperones, really who I’m sorry, they are trafficking these children.

They do not have access to their documents. And they’ve been told not to speak to anyone. Those are definitions of someone being trafficked. I’ve been reporting about children arriving alone or somehow being taken from their parents for decades. And then it turns out that it almost happened to me. That’s where the title comes from. And that’s where this revelation happens that when I arrived it, it could have been me.

Imara Jones: Right. And that was a really powerful moment for me because you were saying, “Look, if it wasn’t for my mother standing up for herself, I would have been taken to this separate place,” before, as you said, where we are now. And that leads you to start to chart out how where we are in the Trump Administration has been a long time coming. It’s not something that’s just happened overnight. It’s the culmination of so many things.

And a part of that is, you know, the way in which you detail how you ended up in journalism leading to this amazing career where then what happened to you personally actually became kind of the core of what you’ve reported on, this interesting fusion of the personal and then the professional.

Maria Hinojosa: So the thing that I’m kind of thinking about a lot right now Imara, as this book is coming out, you know, the book is launching on the same day that stories are breaking about hysterectomies being performed on unwilling unknowing, probably undocumented immigrants in detention facilities. 

Imara Jones: Right. 

Maria Hinojosa: Um, so no, this is not new. This reality is not new. And I think that’s what’s been hard for me particularly on you know, September 15, the launch of the book and then and you know, at the same time, everybody’s talking about how Latina immigrant women are being abused.

Imara Jones: One of the things that occurs to me is, as we’re going through this is the way in which we’ve all lived this contradiction that we can no longer live anymore. That is to say that personally, you almost experienced this family separation, you spent your entire life, as you say, reporting on this issue and the way in which this now system of gulags that we have housing thousands of people, 10s of thousands of people across the United States right now, has been decades in the making.

But at the same time, we have a narrative that is totally different about immigrants and immigration and what the country is and what it’s been doing. And you were reporting on that, right? And one of the things that you’re saying is that, you know, this is now a reality that we’re all waking up to, and I’m wondering how you’ve lived in that contradiction and how you think we’ve all lived in that contradiction?

Maria Hinojosa: Well, I mean, this is part of what we, you know, as a Black woman, you understand, right? How, how this notion of being Black in America, like how you are a survivor, you know, we have to celebrate every day that you wake up as a Black trans woman. Oh, hell yes. Because the truth is, is that this is a challenging one. I mean, this country is on the verge yet again, of some kind of reckoning around coño, respect for Black lives. Basic.

And so we’re still at that point, you know, the original sin is slavery. The first sin is genocide. But the anti-immigrant hatred is built upon those two hatreds. So we wouldn’t have anti-immigrant hatred if we didn’t have anti-Indigenous hatred, anti-Black hatred, it’s part of the continuum. And so we have to kind of realize, like, what why was this great? Like, why is it that we have the Statue of Liberty showing us this one side of the United States but on the other hand, there’s this whole other thing that we don’t really want to talk about and that is, and this was hard, Imara.

It’s not gonna get me any, any friends. But you know, I’m never looking for friends in political parties. But you know, both the Democrats and Republicans a pox on both of your houses. Óyeme Imara, for me to kind of in the writing up of the history, the researching of the history part of the book and then it’s like, whoa, wait, wait. George H.W. Bush is the guy who increased the numbers substantially of refugees, and gave temporary protective status to Central Americans. George H.W. Bush? That it was Bill Clinton who started the construction of the wall essentially? So then it’s a kind of reckoning that we as a country have to have, which is like, “Oh, whoa.” We all have to take responsibility as we are deconstructing white privilege, and white supremacy in regards to Black lives we are deconstructing at the same time, white privilege, white supremacy and hatred of immigrant lives. And we have to do this work together. And it’s not. It’s not one book. It’s not one day, it’s every single day because this has been being built up since the day. I’m sorry to say this, but I like to rattle people’s feathers.

You know, since the day that the first illegal aliens arrived on this land, and that would be the pilgrims. And I don’t use that term, I use it facetiously. Again, I don’t use that term. I don’t encourage it. But if you flip history, and that’s what I’m asking people to do is we’ve got to flip this history and own our role in correcting the narrative. We all, every single one of us has a responsibility, which is why I’m so proud of what you’re doing, Imara.

Imara Jones: Thank you. Thank you so much. One of the things that’s happening as well, that you’ve reported on at Latino USA, and the stories that we’ve been talking about right here underscore, is the intersection of immigration with other issues, including trans rights. I mean, the system of the dragnet has become so big that it’s of course scooping up so many different types of people and there’s so many different ways into the detention story.

And one of the cases that you reported on was that of Estrella Gonzalez. And I’m just wondering if you can talk about what the detention of that trans woman underscores about the Trump Administration and how it’s taken all of this to a different space in a whole new level. 

Maria Hinojosa: Whew. Yes, um, you know, I, to be honest with you, Imara, I reported about the very first trans delegate at the Democratic National Convention in the year 2000. It was Jane Fee. She was a white woman from Minnesota. And I remember saying to my gay producer Rosarte, I said “Aye, Rose, you know, I’m so glad we did this piece about this trans woman but honestly, this issue of trans people I was like, that’s just, that’s just never gonna happen in the United States.

And so there is something really beautiful and powerful about this moment of celebrating trans lives. I never though expected that, that my life would be so connected to a particular trans woman like Estrella, who is in a maximum security men’s prison in Texas, even though she is serving time for a nonviolent crime of fraud, nine years for the crime of fraud. And we’re actually getting ready to drop an update on Latino USA at the end of the month on her case, and so I can’t say too much except to say that, you know, Estrella, Estrella’s story becomes public because she is the first person that we know of, who is taken from a courthouse, a courtroom, by undercover immigration agents.

It used to be that there were places that were safe from immigration agents, courthouses, courtrooms, churches, hospitals, schools. That’s not true anymore. When Estrella is taken and the story comes out, I mean, I think it was on purpose that they took her. Estrella is trans, Mexican, undocumented, formerly deported, with a criminal record. You know, I think they thought nobody’s gonna care about her. She’s got everything going on against her. As you know, Imara because you know me a little bit and the work that I like to do, that’s exactly the kind of person who I want to speak to the person that you think is a throwaway is my hero, and we’re telling her story exclusively and I just want to say she is not giving up.

But being trans in a men’s prison, um, it is a test every single day. And the only thing that’s happened for Estrella is that as she says, In this weird fate, she has been able to become a woman in prison. This is the most ability that she’s had and she had to fight for her injections and such. And so this is how she’s been able to, as she says, fall in love with her boobies, and her ‘cadera’. And you know, she just talks to me all the time about you know, she just loves her body.

Imara Jones: Yeah, I mean, it’s the only way. And it also just her, speaks to her resilience, is that in the face of you know, everything else that’s going on, she’s found the positive which is the ability for her to inhabit her own body. And yeah, that speaks to her character.

Maria Hinojosa: It’s not always about suffering, I mean– 

Imara Jones: That’s right. 

Maria Hinojosa: That’s what I think is a real, you know, we have this image of people who are, you don’t see right who are for you invisible. I’m not saying for you, Imara but, you know, for people. And, and it’s like, but, but they, they may not see themselves as invisible necessarily.

I mean, I’m obsessed with this issue, but people are finding joy. Again, that is Black resistance. That is, is finding joy is finding music is finding celebration. And this experience for Estrella that has tested her is that she is finding joy.

Imara Jones: Incidentally enough, that brings us to sort of my last question, I have many more but it’ll be the last question for now, which is, there’s a part of your book where you realize that you are actually not only reporting on traumatic events, but were actually a victim of trauma and then a survivor of trauma.

You know, a lot of people that listen to this podcast, of course, will have endured trauma, have endured trauma, and sometimes can talk about it in a way in which it is seen as as a weakness, or it’s about the scars, but you embraced it and realized that for you, it’s a source of strength, and I’m wondering if you can just talk about that and talk about that perspective on trauma.

Maria Hinojosa: Well, I think it comes from being older, honestly. And so part of what I’m hoping is that I’m hoping that for younger people who experienced trauma that you don’t wait, right, that you are kind of doing the work straight up because it is hard, you know, I mean, the big reveal in the book for me was that Yeah, I was almost taken from my mother. Like, wait, what? And, you know, a lot of our stories are accompanied by shame. And so there’s the trauma, and then there’s the shame and so you don’t talk about it, you know? And then these things, mark us, you know, a big part of the book also is the reveal that I am a survivor of rape and that I didn’t, I didn’t have vocabulary for that.

I mean, wait, I knew this person. I mean, I had just met him. What, five days before? I was 16. He was 24. You know, wait, what? What happened? Wait, that was I lost my virginity, it was my first time. So am I happy, but it hurt, but I said no. What? So the thing about this is that if we don’t look at that trauma soon, and it’s hard, right, like we’re in the midst of trauma now because we’re living through a pandemic, I’m a survivor of COVID-19. So I’m like, you know, so we have to have a little bit of the distance from the trauma. And then we have to do the work. And so I talked a lot about doing therapy. In fact, my therapist, I met her because she was a source for a story I was doing about sex trafficked women, and she was their therapist, for trafficked women. She was, she’s an expert in trauma.

And so then if you start to unpack that and sometimes you know, Imara, I’m really thankful you asked this question because sometimes it is just the talking about it and maybe some people can’t afford therapy, they don’t find the right therapist, but you can do some of this work with spiritual people, with close friends, where you are kind of talking, and in the talking of it, you make the connections. You’re like, “Oh, wait, that’s why.” That’s why there were moments in my life where I wasn’t interested in sex. It was because I was friggin raped. Oh, okay, that makes sense. Now, why did I want to cover immigration for the entirety of my career? Oh, because you realize that you were almost taken from your mother by an immigration agent. Oh. So what I want is for us to be living more in this space of when you are ready to take some space to look at that trauma and to understand that it is actually moving you in ways that you can’t even imagine.

It is an act, actually, of transforming whether we’re transforming the narrative. The history of immigrants were the word transforming the narrative around women where they were transforming the narrative around, you know, small Mexican women who aren’t boxers–okay, I am. You know, it’s all about us kind of owning it, owning our power and look, it’s all scary. And we just have to learn to be there be in that space, but never be quiet.

Imara Jones: Thank you so much for taking the time. I really encourage for all the obvious reasons that I don’t need to state based upon our conversation that people should pick up this book and read it.

It is an easy and accessible read but one that is, I think, incredibly illuminating and eye opening in so many of the ways that we’ve spoken about today. And I just thank you and treasure and value as, as a colleague, as a person who has paved the way for so many of us and as a partner. I really appreciate it and really appreciate the time you took today.

Maria Hinojosa: Oh, Imara, you know, I could just sing your praises from here until forever. So don’t make me start. But you are an inspiration. You and every person who is a part of the trans community. So thank you for this interview. I loved it.

Imara Jones: Thank you. Thank you so much.

That was Maria Hinojosa, founder and CEO of Futuro Media and author of the new book “Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America.”

And now it’s time for Transform, the part of our show where we elevate changemakers in our community who are innovating and creating the future for all of us. Transform takes us into their world. Joining me is Isa Noyola, a visionary trans Latina activist, and cultural organizer dedicated to abolishing systems which oppress trans immigrant communities of color.

Isa is the deputy director of Mijente, an organization centering Latinx people in the movements for racial, climate, economic and gender justice. Before Mijente he saw was at the Transgender Law Center, where she served as Deputy Director. Isa is on the board of the Women’s March. Sis, I’m so thrilled to have you on today.

Isa Noyola: Thank you for having me. It’s so good to hear you again.

Imara Jones: I know, the last time that we saw each other, we were eating tacos and drinking beer. That’s not possible right now sadly.

Isa Noyola: I know. So much changed, like right after you left.

Imara Jones: So much change! And then the time before that I saw you after your talk at the National Education Association we were also eating and drinking.

Isa Noyola: Well, hopefully next time we see each other in person we’ll do the same.

Imara Jones: Absolutely, absolutely. I wanted to speak to you today because of your work on the intersection between trans rights and immigration issues. These are intersectional issues that people may not necessarily put together. So I’m wondering, can you talk about this link, this intersection between trans rights and immigrant rights?

Isa Noyola: Yeah, I mean, I think, to me, it’s just been a, always a natural connection and always been part of my experience in coming into my own transness. And the community that I’m a part of is experienced. And the other issue that was like really at the forefront of understanding trans identity was also HIV. And at the time that I came out, that’s where you would find trans communities: at HIV prevention programs. And that’s where the organization that I founded came from.

It was an HIV prevention program for trans Latinas. But in that community, there was so many issues around immigration, belonging and community and you know, getting sort of the legal protections and legal rights as an immigrant. So it was like a mixture of these different issue areas that were really- have impacted the community in a very significant way that I understood that they are all intertwined, they all complicate each other. 

Imara Jones: You know, before we were drinking beer and eating tacos, we were at the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona together filming for the future trans documentary that was produced by TransLash. And one of the things that really struck me and that we spoke about is the fact that within this system of gulags that they build across the United States to house immigrants, separating people from their families, in these rural places that are out of the way so you don’t see them.

They kind of sprung up this entire network. And inside of that detention facility are trans people who are held within this terrible system. And those are stories that we don’t talk about very often. And I’m wondering if you can just take us into one of those facilities.

Isa Noyola: Yeah. First, it’s dehumanizing for everyone. You know, those detention centers are intentionally built and constructed to dehumanize people, to break people down. It’s all cement and concrete and cinder blocks and fluorescent lighting and horrible conditions and just deplorable conditions for anyone’s spirit to break just to torture and punish basically. I’ve gone in there for days, for a day tour and visits and meeting with folks individually and that I just, it takes so much out of me to do that alone. And folks have been there for weeks, months, years on end.

And for trans communities it’s even more sort of heightened the humanization process because of how ICE legally classifies our community. So trans women legally are classified as men. That’s how they are treated. And so the facilities where they sleep, the access they can get is often denied to transition related healthcare. And, you know, the sexual harassment and sexual abuse inside detention centers is extremely high for trans women because there’s very little protections and because the guards often engage in that process as well or often encourage that or ignore and turn a blind eye to that reality.

So you will find trans women inside isolated often for quote unquote, “their own protection” in solitary confinement. Again, hours and hours in a room with no windows, only allowed one hour for rec which is often caged outside and then they are to return back and so the conditions are extreme and harsh. I mean, there’s so many studies out of just how solitary confinement really impacts your mental health and impacts your brain it impacts long, has long-term effects.

Imara Jones: Yeah, it’s, um, it’s horrifying. One case, which I think encapsulates this in a personal narrative is the case of Roxana Hernandez that you were personally involved with. Can you speak about who she was how she ended up in the United States and what happened to her?

Isa Noyola: Yeah. Roxanna was a trans Latina who migrated from Honduras. Her family loved her very much. Her family did not want her to leave. She had her sisters’ support, and she lived with her sisters and helping the family, helping to raise the children. But, you know, Roxana faced all the discrimination in her community. Again, she was an HIV positive woman who could not get access to HIV medication and health care in her community and then also was discriminated against in finding employment. And so it was really hard for her and she really wanted to support her family and also just wanted to live her life in a full way as a trans woman. And it was very difficult to do that in her local community. And so she traveled up feeling like she didn’t have many options and wanted to take a risk and, at the time, joined a caravan that was migrating up towards the border.

So she joined that caravan and, you know, again, faced a lot of discrimination along the way a lot of harassment and then finally arrived at the border, only to be met with a very antagonistic US government who was really making it difficult for asylum seekers at the time and continues to do so. She was in very delicate health. She was not getting the treatment that she needed. She ended up staying a couple days on the border. When she it was her turn to present herself at the border they, you know, they quickly placed her in these yellow areas which are like, basically ice boxes, where it was like freezing temperatures, waiting for her processing, waiting hours and hours and hours until her health was deteriorating even more. Only then followed by a long bus ride to the detention center where her health continued to deteriorate. They were not offered food. At some point, the bus drivers, the people who were driving this bus, which was also freezing temperatures, stopped at I believe it was an In-N-Out or some sort of fast food place, didn’t offer anyone any food, continued on the road for hours and hours and hours.

So by the time that she arrived at a detention center, her health had completely gone and so she, you know, was in really critical condition. aAll the people who are working for ICE did not handle her health care properly and so in that she died. And so she died under ICE custody. And it was not the first time that we had seen that before of an HIV positive trans woman. In 2007, I believe Victoria Ariano was another trans woman who was handcuffed to her bed, asking for her HIV medication and was denied. So, you know, Victoria Ariano, and so many other trans women who have faced death inside detention and under custody of ICE is not sort of an outlier. It is sort of a practice of dehumanization.

And so unfortunately, she passed away and she died. And up until this day, ICE has not taken accountability for that. The Transgender Law Center, along with a private attorney have won some damages but it hasn’t been the full win that the community has, has longed for, not just for her case, but for so many other deaths that have happened inside detention and under ICE custody.

Imara Jones: When she died in 2018, I believe that you were the person that informed her family or you spoke to her family. 

Isa Noyola: Yeah. 

Imara Jones: Not long after she died. And I’m wondering what their reaction was, what that experience was like?

Isa Noyola: It was one of the hardest trips. Unfortunately, it wasn’t my first time having to notify a family about a trans woman had been murdered and is dead, I’ve had to do that in non-immigrant related cases. But with this case, it was hard. You know, the family lived in a really remote area of Honduras.

It was hard to get there I, you know, had to contextualize everything and, one, they they had no idea that she was HIV positive. And they also didn’t want to believe it. That was heartbreaking. And then I had to explain sort of the you know, kind of autopsy report and all the bruising that they had found, that our independent autopsy found, and like bruising in her body and Internal bruising that was found in her ribs, and other areas of her body. And so that was hard. And I had to show them a picture to confirm that that was their sister.

It was the whole, the whole event was heart wrenching and gut wrenching, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. It also just was a moment of, to me it was… I told the fam I was like this was you know, this was one of the hardest things and also just like how, for me it was a special moment to, to be able to share this in a way that so many trans women are not afforded to have that sort of sympathy from family.

You know, I’ve engaged with families that want nothing to do with their daughter and with their sibling because they’re trans, even if they died in a dehumanizing way. I was also just taken so back by even just that amount of of love and yeah, just you could tell how much she was loved in that family and by her sisters and the nieces and nephews. And it was just an overall emotional moment for the family to really, you know, kind of understand what had happened and the the gravity of it and that she died in a very torturous way.

Imara Jones: And so with these experiences that you’ve told us about, which are, as you said, gut wrenching in every single way imaginable from policy to the personal to the impact on families, and that this wasn’t the first time that you’ve had to inform families about the death of someone.

I’m wondering why you do what you do? Why do you continue to fight in the way that you do? And how do you maintain the, the energy, the sanity, to be able to stay in the struggle for human rights?

Isa Noyola: Along with so many other organizers and folks that have come through community organizing, you know, one of the values and principles that we function under and we we really hold to our hearts, especially in these moments, is none of us are free until all of us are free. And so that value and that principle that guides so many organizers in this work really sort of kicks in, you know, in those moments I, you know, I definitely feel the ancestors backing me and giving me all the energy, especially how much those moments count to really kind of push yourself to show up for community and show up in these moments.

At this point, with so many deaths that are, that surround sort of my experience of coming into the trans community and really being a part of it. Death has always been, is like, it’s something that circles us.

Imara Jones: Well, you know, you said that death sort of circles us as trans women. But I also think that one of the things that you have, which also circles us is a tremendous amount of hope. I remember standing outside of that detention facility with you and you said that you were hopeful and I was shocked. And that comes from a very deep and profound place inside of you. 

Isa Noyola: Yeah. 

Imara Jones: And we honor you, and thank you so much.

Isa Noyola: Oh, thank you. Ultimately, these systems are meant to crumble. And I think that’s why I said that in that moment. I’m remembering that moment and, you know, ICE and these detention systems are new formations and not necessarily as old as people would like to think they are or as you know, kind of embedded and they’re actually meant to be destroyed and actually not exist and we can exist without these harmful institutions and harmful structures that that harm us, like detention facilities for sure.

Imara Jones: “These systems were meant to crumble.” Thank you so much, Isa, really appreciate it. 

Isa Noyola: Thank you. 

Imara Jones: You have just heard from Isa Noyola who is the deputy director of Mijente. Thank you for joining us on the TransLash podcast. Don’t forget to listen all the way through to the end of the show for something extra. I’m Imara Jones.

If you liked what you heard, please go to Apple Podcasts to rate and review us. Also, you can listen to TransLash on Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

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TransLash podcast is produced by TransLash Media by Futuro Studios. The TransLash team includes Ruby Fludzinski, Oliver-Ash Kleine, Montana Thomas, and Yannick Eike Mirko. And the Futuro Studios team includes Nicole Rothwell, Jess Alvarenga, Stephanie Lebow, Leah Shaw and Julia Caruso. Our digital strategy is handled by Daniela Capistrano with support from Sean Watkins.

The music you’ve heard was composed by Ben Draghi and also courtesy of ZZK Records.

Alright, TransLash fam, your reward this week is what I’m looking forward to. And it’s a very small thing but really important. So my friend, Klancy Miller, who is a chef, she’s written books, all the rest of it. She has a recipe in the New York Times just from this month for orange cardamom pancakes, and I have down loaded the recipe and I am ecstatic to make them so just look that up.

“Klancy Miller, orange cardamom pancakes, New York Times” and it comes up, and you should just follow her in general because not only is she amazing, but she’s gorgeous and just a beautiful person. So that’s what I’m looking forward to.

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TransLash tells trans stories to save trans lives. As a trusted source for journalists, thought-leaders, movement activists, researchers, and those wanting to know about trans people, we produce narratives about and for the trans community—accurately and reliably. At a time when disinformation about trans people is being used to undermine democracy and human rights, TransLash Media serves as a beacon of hope through the voices that we share with the world.


TransLash tells trans stories to save trans lives. As a trusted source for journalists, thought-leaders, movement activists, researchers, and those wanting to know about trans people, we produce narratives about and for the trans community—accurately and reliably. At a time when disinformation about trans people is being used to undermine democracy and human rights, TransLash Media serves as a beacon of hope through the voices that we share with the world.


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