My family disowned me at 22 when they found out that I’m transgender. After that, I felt like I couldn’t trust anyone or build connections anymore. The family rejection, isolation, and stigma that I’ve experienced seeps deep into my core. I’ve thought about suicide often, and for a long time, I couldn’t escape the feeling no matter where I went. I’ve sunk so low that everything in life seemed out of reach, especially the kind of loving relationships that most people expect from family and close friends. I didn’t know where to turn, and I attempted suicide and ended up in the hospital. It was only then that I was able to get connected to a housing provider that gave me the opportunity to stay at an emergency apartment. After years of abuse from my parents, I was finally able to get away from them. I hoped that things were going to get better soon, but I didn’t realize at the time that I would have to rebuild myself piece by piece.
Natalie Garcia (Hartford, CT)
Bio: My dream is to continue doing bigger and better things. I want to learn more every day and work with many people because I strongly value knowledge, discussion, and problem-solving. My goal is to get my Ph.D. and to one day become a college professor.