A trans mom tells her heart-wrenching life story to her daughter in this animated video.

When Alexis Martinez first came out to her mom as transgender in the 1960s, her mom called the cops.

After the police showed up, things went from very bad to much worse. Instead of offering any form of support or guidance, the officers shrugged off the incident, ridiculing her family while they were at it.

“They just laughed and told her, ‘you got a fag for a son, and there's nothing we can do about it,'" Martinez recalled to StoryCorps five decades later.


In this powerful, animated video of Martinez's story, she tells the turbulent — but ultimately hopeful — journey of her life to her daughter, who's grateful that her mom can live freely in her own skin:

Although Martinez's story of parental rejection is decades-old, it's still one that many young trans people know all too well.

Transgender people are far more likely to experience homelessness, abuse drugs, attempt suicide, and live with mental health issues, like depression.

These problems, of course, aren't inherent — they stem from widespread societal transphobia, which bleeds into many facets of everyday life. And it's a formidable form of bigotry that, many times, starts right at home.

Life was tough for Martinez. She put on a facade after initially coming out, trying to hide her identity with a heavy dose of machoism. She joined a gang on the South Side of Chicago where she grew up, hoping others would see her apparent toughness and not her true self — or the outfits she chose to wear underneath her rough exterior.

"I would be wearing combat boots and blue jeans and a leather jacket," she said. "But underneath, I would have stockings and a bra."

"I remember it as a very dark period. I really didn’t believe that anybody could love somebody like me," she explains in the video.

Fortunately, Martinez — now a happy grandma with a healthy relationship to her family — is in a much better place.

She's free to live openly and honestly — a point her daughter, Lesley Martinez Etherly, hopes her mom truly understands.

“You don’t have to apologize, you don’t have to tiptoe," Etherly tells Martinez in the video. "We’re not gonna cut you off. And that is something that I’ve always wanted you to just know: that you’re loved."

More
True
#WhoWeAre

Abigail Disney is the granddaughter of the late Roy Disney, the co-founder of the Walt Disney Co. Abigail herself does not have a job within the company, but she has made some public complaints about the way things are being run and how it is effecting the employees of the company.

Disney recently spoke on the Yahoo News show "Through Her Eyes," and shared a story of how a Magic Kingdom employee reached out to her about the poor working conditions at the theme park. So, Disney went to see for herself, and she did not like what she found.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Wellington District Police

Some animals have no respect for authority. Rogue penguins are disobeying the police in New Zealand, and they can't stop, won't stop.

Two little blue penguins were spotted at Sushi Bi near the Wellington railway station, allegedly trying to nest. The penguins had to cross through busy lanes of traffic running between the harbor and the sushi bar.

The dangerous duo was detained by the police, then released back into Wellington Harbour.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature

Netflix

How much of what we do is influenced by what we see on TV? When it comes to risky behavior, Netflix isn't taking any chances.

After receiving a lot of heat, the streaming platform is finally removing a controversial scenedepicting teen suicide in season one of "13 Reasons Why. The decision comes two years after the show's release after statistics reveal an uptick in teen suicide.

"As we prepare to launch season three later this summer, we've been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show. So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we've decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from season one," Netflix said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
Magnific Eye / Unsplash

Los Angeles is experiencing a homeless epidemic that was years in the making.

Over the past six years, the unhoused population in the city has risen 75 percent. The city's lack of homeless shelters and affordable housing has forced many who can't afford L.A.'s sky-high rents to live on the streets.

According to LAist, since 2000, renter incomes have decreased by 3 percent while rents have gone up 32 percent.

While the city has launched a $100 million-per-year program to help the problem, rapper, entrepreneur, and actor Jaden Smith has found his own way of responding to the crisis: love.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities