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He Fought For Transgender Rights In Colombia. Now He Worries As A U.S. Citizen.

The day after he came out, she took him to buy new clothes to fit his identity. Then she called his guidance counselor at St. Petersburg High and set up meetings with all his teachers. She printed out packets of information for them on the sensitivities of working with a transgender teen. Then she brought her son to Metro Wellness and Community Centers in St. Petersburg for therapy and support.

Martinez’s case is unique in many aspects. But what’s rare is the support he had from his family right away, said Lucas Wehle, director of trans services at Metro Wellness and Community Centers in Tampa Bay.

“So many of the trans youth we see are โ€” or end up โ€” homeless, and don’t have the same kind of support Manolo has had from his mother and grandmother,” Wehle said.

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