Meet Bamby Salcedo, a SoCal trans Latina leader and 'servant to the people'

This year, the well-known transgender Latina activist was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to the Commission on the State of Hate.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Meet Bamby Salcedo: A trans Latina leader and 'servant to the people'
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This year, Bamby Salcedo was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to the Commission on the State of Hate. She's a transgender activist and founder of Los Angeles-based TransLatin@ Coalition.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Bamby Salcedo describes herself as, first and foremost, "a servant to the people."

Salcedo leads The TransLatin@ Coalition, a national advocacy organization based in Los Angeles.

In 2009, she and other leaders saw a need.

"There was two trans-led national organizations that were obviously doing amazing work, but they were not including the needs and issues of trans Latina immigrants," said Salcedo.

The organization provides social support and life-saving services, including a center for violence prevention and transgender wellness.

This year, Salcedo was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to the Commission on the State of Hate.

"To ensure that we craft not just policies, but a strategy, really to eradicate the hate that many people experience," she said.

Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Salcedo immigrated to the U.S. as a teen and soon after began her transition. She's a survivor of violence and hate crimes.

She has experienced homelessness, drug addiction, and incarceration.

"A survivor of sexual assault and abuse, both on the streets and in prison," said Salcedo.

She learned to read English in prison, went on to work in the nonprofit sector, at a children's hospital, and earned a master's degree in Mexican and Latinx Studies from Cal State L.A.

"I started seeing the injustices and also taking it upon myself to understand my responsibility," she said.

Salcedo stresses that the organization's mission is to serve all transgender individuals.

In 2020 and 2021, The TransLatin@ Coalition helped lead the successful effort for a $30 million first-of-its-kind in the nation, wellness and equity fund for transgender communities in California.

"The hope for trans people is that we can be integrated in the broader tapestry of our society, accepted and be able to live dignified lives without the fear of being killed simply because of who we are," she said.

Salcedo has received awards and recognition for her service.

She's one of several organizers and activists honored on a mural at the ACLU of Southern California

"For me, it's important that I understand and continue to be reminded, I stand on the shoulders of our ancestors and trancestors. There has been a long struggle and they have fought hard for all of us to be here today," she said.