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JUNE 7-14, 2017


The Pride Parade held by El Paso Sun City Pride encourages younger generations to celebrate their LGBTQ community.


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gained on the job to try to alleviate the fundraising woes of many local non-profits. To that end, she helped launch the Paso del Norte OUT Fund, a group that seeks to help organizations secure philanthropic funds. “We’re working to bring money into the region through local fundraising and through government and foundation monies, which are redistributed to organizations that primarily serve the local LGBTQ community and have inclusive policies,” she said. “Our vision is to grow a culture of giving here in El Paso and to also be able to reach the dollar amount the city doesn’t currently have the capacity for.” Across the U.S., Garcia has traveled to cities like Port-

Photo by Jorge Salgado

land, New York, Detroit and Orlando to train non-profits like the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the National Network for Arab-American Communities, Funders for LGBTQ Issues and the Border Network for Human Rights. She hopes her work will help alleviate the disproportionate relationship between the high need for funds by local non-profits and funders, which she says currently only consists of a few major players and a handful of smaller entities that provide minimal amounts. Garcia said there is no shortage of foundation and grant money floating around the country; it’s simply a matter of having the skills to apply for funds.

Transcending boundaries

Claudia Delfin, a transgender woman who’s an outreach

worker at the nonprofit Aliviane, Inc., has made it her mission to speak out against inequality. She’s been on major local news outlets, including KVIA Channel 7, in the last couple years to talk about what it’s like to be a trans woman along the border and to voice her opposition against legislation like SB6, dubbed the Bathroom Bill. She transitioned more than 30 years ago during a time when the idea of being transgender was barely a whisper and widely misunderstood. She had to cross into Juarez regularly to get the necessary hormones for transitioning. Her story was captured by The New Yorker writer Jonathan Blitzer and published in Oxford American. Delfin’s also a supporter of LGBTQ immigrants, pointing out the arrest of Irvin González earlier this year. The transgender woman sought protection against an abusive ex-boyfriend at the county courthouse, where ICE agents detained her, causing a national stir. “A lot of immigrants [who need help] are here illegally, so they’re afraid to get help,” Delfin said. “I try to encourage them to get social services and to let them know there are safe places that will protect them.” In 2015, Delfin was named the Texas DSHS Dan Rawlins Outreach Worker of the Year. The statewide award recognized Delfin for her work in issues like substance abuse and HIV prevention. Most recently, she was invited to be a guest speaker for the Central Texas Transgender Health Coalition in Austin in September. Delfin said she plans to talk about issues like unemployment among transgender individuals and challenges Latina transgender women face. As these advocates and philanthropists of the LGBTQ community continue to share their time with those in need, they all agree that such actions create a ripple effect in promoting equality and tolerance in the region. The national recognition many of them have received shows that such goals can reach beyond the borderland.


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Profile for What's Up Weekly El Paso

What's Up Weekly: LGBTQ Pride Month  

What's Up Weekly: LGBTQ Pride Month