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Globalization and politics

Annie Hylton
Investigative Journalist, Professor
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piqer: Annie Hylton
Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Migrating As A (Trans) Woman

Tgether with PRX, Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting co-produced this fascinating, deep-dive story into what it's like to migrate as a transgender woman from El Salvador to the U.S., where asylum laws continue to narrow, and from Afghanistan to Turkey, where even people from your own community can betray you. 

This story takes us into the world of one of the toughest immigration judges in the U.S., who recently retired, and shows how her otherwise-harsh decisions benefited transgender asylum-seekers. 

Then, reporter Alice Driver follows a transgender woman named Estrella, who fled an assassination attempt in El Salvador, to the U.S. Eventually, Estrella resettled in San Diego and changed her name to Michelle; we learn about her challenges along the way – including her life in male detention and, finally, what it's like to live freely as a transgender woman once she received asylum in the U.S. (the story, however, notes that for transgender people, being in the U.S. can also be deadly). 

The podcast ends with the remarkable tale, reported by Fariba Nawa, of a woman named Hoor. Hoor was a child bride who, when she was 16, fled from the frontlines in Kunduz and made it to Turkey with the help of smugglers, as are an increasing number of Afghan women. Once in Turkey, an Afghan man whom Hoor had come to trust, raped her, and this is the surprising story of how she obtained justice. 

If you're looking for a nuanced, human tale of what it's like to be on the run from persecution and gender-based violence, this is the story for you. 

Migrating As A (Trans) Woman
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