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Denise, Trinidad and Tobago

Denise is a transgender woman from Trinidad who came to the United States in 2004 after being “savagely beaten by a gang of men and women. I realized then and there that I had to flee.” For years, she suffered from untreated post-traumatic stress disorder and watched her health deteriorate, suffering four separate heart attacks. She was discriminated against and fired from one job after another for being transgender. At the height of her despair, she was forced to live on a subway platform for a month. When Denise’s asylum application was denied, she almost gave up. But with Immigration Equality’s help, she kept fighting and her appeal was approved in October 2014. Denise’s American dream is “to be able to give back as much as I have received. To be embraced by the love and freedom of what Lady Liberty represents. To walk hand in hand with whomever I choose to love and not be afraid to enjoy that love no matter where I am… I know that America’s greatness is in its people and I am a part of that greatness!”

Photo credit: Steven Laxton, stevenlaxton.com