To live as a transgender woman in Ecuador is to experience violence every day. I was sent to prison as a young woman. I was beaten and raped. Throughout that struggle, my mother’s support never wavered, she was the hope that never abandoned me.

Women in Ecuador face many struggles. The brutality of prison altered my perspective to the vulnerability of others, and now I recognize that my mother was a victim of domestic violence. Prison forced me to resist, it has given me the strength to support other transgender women through my activism. I long to see this same resistance return to my mother. At times she is silent and subdued, accepting of a life dictated by others. Yet I remember the unyielding woman who stood by my side during my incarceration, and fought the system with the same voice that I now call my own.