LGBTQ&A: Naiymah Sanchez

We chatted with the trans-Latina advocate about service, being outspoken, and creating change.

Naiymah Sanchez

Naiymah Sanchez

Naiymah Sanchez is a trans-Latina community activist and transgender advocate coordinator for the ACLU of Pennsylvania. We caught up with her on serving the community, being outspoken, and being one of the co-chairs of the nation’s largest LGBTQ conference, Creating Change.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a proud trans-Latina who was previously the coordinator for the only for-transgender-by-transgender program in the state of Pennsylvania and the current transgender advocacy coordinator for the ACLU of Pennsylvania. I also work as the coordinator for the Strength Alliance coalition, a program of Resources for Human Development.

You are an unapologetic trans-Latinx community advocate. What motivates you to be visibly passionate in serving the multiple intersectional communities you belong to?
I am a passionate advocate/activist within my transgender community. What motivates me is how I see that we face so many injustices and have so many people against us. If I don’t speak up and raise the awareness to these issues and help my community without prejudice, then how will we be able to co-power each other to be the best whatever we want to be? How does the general community accept and understand our issues if they don’t know that their community members are oppressed and dealing with a lot? That’s why I do this work.

As the transgender advocacy coordinator for the ACLU of Pennsylvania, what are the major issues affecting the community statewide that you’re addressing?
The major issues facing us right now are nondiscrimination laws that don’t protect gender identity, reforming aspects of the criminal justice system, and exploring ways to connect trans individuals to healthcare resources.

This week is the Creating Change conference. As a co-chair, how would you describe the experience of putting together the nation’s largest LGBTQ conference?
This has been an amazing experience. I would not change anything about the process. I met so many people, I made so many new connections – this conference-planning gave me an opportunity that I would not have thought I would ever get.

You have gained traction for your Facebook Live videos where you speak frankly about the diversity issues in the Gayborhood. Next Monday, PCHR will announce its Gayborhood racism findings and recommendations. What do you predict will be the outcome?
I have hope for change, but know that the process is a long wait to come. However, I know I stand with and for anyone who has been discriminated against in the Gayborhood and throughout this state.