Mexican transgender asylum seeker allowed to stay in U.S.

Published: November 9, 2010

When Alexandra Reyes’ father caught her wearing her sister’s shoes and clothes, he tied her up and beat her with spiked pieces of a tree.

"It was so horrible, I would scream," Reyes said in Spanish. "He told me he had a son, not a daughter, and he did not accept me."

Reyes, 32, was born a boy named Carlos but began living life as a girl at age 8, infuriating her traditional Mayan family in Cenotillo, Mexico. One night, an aunt walked into Reyes’ bedroom and tried to kill her with a machete because she didn’t want Reyes in the family.

The Mexican police wouldn’t arrest Reyes’ abusers. So 10 years ago, she paid a smuggler to get her across the border. She walked four days and four nights through the desert into the U.S. and made it to Colorado, where a friend told her she would be safe.

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