When we ride up, the hildren do not see five overweight people arriving on bicycles; they see the simplicity of our mission. Their eyes light up—they are fascinated by their dreams and excited to share them.
I started putting music to the words that Pablo typed out. The result was beautiful songs. Comfort and relief flooded my heart, now that I knew we had a way of understanding each other. Every moment we were together, the music never ceased.
Many stories have moved me since we began using the Champa, but none like that of a boy with reduced mobility who summoned 15 friends to help him climb the Champaquí. They all took turns supporting the bike while the tour organizer led them up the summit, achieving the boy’s dream.
The reactions to the finished tattoos vary as much as the stories behind each scar and burn. Some, when the artwork is revealed, have a muted reaction, while others hug me and start crying. The only thing that doesn't change is my own emotion.
When I dance the tango, I connect with my own feelings. Although I represent a character, I am also telling part of my life and exposing something of my own. I reveal something of myself every time I perform. That intimacy transforms me as I dance.
I am convinced all people should have the opportunity to be who they feel they are; not who society says they should be. Earning my legal identification as a non-binary and transgender person is proof that after being consumed with insecurities, pride is possible.
When my name was announced, my heart swelled with happiness and pride. I was making history without meaning to.
Before starting the match, I could not hold in my tears. My parents were in attendance, watching that little boy who left home return as a man. I fulfilled my dream, and this is just the beginning.
Returning to my brother, I did not hesitate. I remember not understanding what I was doing, but I felt the rumbling of the gun shot pass through me. It was as if someone else pulled the trigger.
My efforts bear fruit for these children, and their families by extension. At first, they came with empty stomachs and torn clothes. Today they come to learn, eager for knowledge and eager to grow.
This change gives non-binary people visibility, validates us, and shows society that we are not living in confusion. It is an identity all its own. We resist, we exist, and we are people who have family, work, and everyday life.
I hovered in a dream-like state, my body wracked with pain and slipping from sleep to waking and back again as evening approached and the temperature dipped lower. Despair began to set in as I contemplated another long, cold night alone on the mountainside.