I’m undocumented. I’m transgender. I’m Muslim. Seattle teens share worries about Trump era
The handover of presidential power makes us wonder how the new administration will affect our lives.
That's especially true for young people.
Even more so if they're undocumented immigrants.
We asked three local teenagers to share their concerns, hopes, and fears regarding the Trump presidency.
Edgar, 15 (Note: We are not sharing Edgar’s last name or school due to his legal status.)
I’m undocumented. I came here when I was just a little baby. My parents paid for someone to cross me over.
What I think of Donald Trump? Well, I have concerns. I just tend to hide them.
I mean, I was like laughing at it because like I didn't want to show that I was scared.
But it is scary thinking that he could just ruin your life if they send you back, because over in Mexico it isn't that easy.
My parents are just scared. They’re trying to just keep me away from trouble or anything that would involve the authorities. Right now is just a time to be serious.
I have two sisters now but they were both born here in Seattle. I'd rather have myself be taken away than my sisters. I'd rather see them have a good life than me.
I'm trying to keep a positive look into this but yeah, inside I was just like ‘oh we're doomed.'
Theo Lasky, 15, Nova High School
I’ve just started my transition as a trans person. I’ve been on hormones for about six months.
The idea of having that taken away from me and having to go back to living as female is terrifying.
Or the idea of having more bathroom bills passed or something like that…
I think that the younger generation, we face the idea that because we’re not 18 or 20 or 30 yet we don’t have a voice in politics, and I think:
Don’t get defeated. Don’t sit there and say ‘this is what we have to accept.’ Stand up and work even on a small level with your peers and the people you’re around to stand up to discrimination.
If we can change small communities, that can spread and we can start affecting change in the greater population of our country. Because it all has to start with individual people rallying together with their communities.
Samia Ali, 17, University Prep
I identify as a Muslim.
A lot of the immigration policies scare me the most - for someone who has family who would like to come over, from Saudi Arabia, Somalia, from different countries that are known to be Muslim countries.
It scares me that they won’t come here even though they have the greatest intentions of coming here in hopes of finding a job, to raise a family, to build on values, to allow their children to have an education.
It scares me that they won’t have that right anymore. And what scares me even more is the idea of surveilling Muslim communities. Because I practice a certain faith, I’m not American enough? Even though I was born in this country? That hurts the most.
If it means that it’s a long-term process in which I have to rewrite the stereotype given to Muslims and Muslim women by the career choices I make and by the environment I choose to involve myself in, then so be it. Because I refuse to allow the actions of a few to dictate the reality of many.
These transcripts have been lightly edited for clarity.
Ann Dornfeld can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Liz Jones can be reached at email@example.com.
Have a story idea? Use our story pitch form.