Jahaira DeAlto is a student at Berkshire Community College and also does intersectional advocacy and activism in areas of gender, race, and sexuality — work she calls multifaceted. One of the biggest parts of her work is helping to, in her words, “normalize” the transgender experience for those who might be unaware of what the community endures on a daily basis. Jahaira is a transgender woman, meaning that she was born and raised male but knew for a long time that that didn’t quite fit, and so at 16 she transitioned to live every day as the woman she has long known herself to be.
“It is still vitally important we leverage our privilege to provide educational opportunities for people to learn more,” Jahaira said. “The more we humanize ourselves for those who don’t think they’ve encountered a transgender person, the more we’re able to remove the stigma and fear surrounding the perception of what trans people are. Education is our greatest weapon against ignorance. After having the experience of meeting Jahaira DeAlto, you can no longer say you’ve never met a trans person.”