Xion Lopez says Transgender Day of Remembrance is a bittersweet experience. As the names are called and candles lit, she says she feels, “so many mixed emotions — a lot of fabulous comes into my heart just hearing those names. I don’t forget any of them but to hear those names again is just a very emotional process.”
Lopez is co-planning this year’s event, slated for Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Metropolitan Community Church of Washington (474 Ridge Street, NW). As a young trans woman herself, Lopez says it’s important for the community to “remember those sisters who no longer have a voice — it’s a very important day for me.” Visit theindc.org for more information.
Lopez, 21, grew up in Washington. She previously worked at Transgender Health Empowerment but now volunteers there since she couldn’t be both a client and employee. She started earlier this year as an intern at HIPS (Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive) and this week became its interim office manager. She has family here but is not in contact with them.
Lopez is single and lives in Deanwood. In her free time, she enjoys movies, being social, activism, performing and “me time — no hair, no makeup and just being centered.”
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I had to come out twice: at 13 as a gay male and 19 as a trans woman. The hardest person to tell both times was my mother.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
Debbie McMillian, the CRC specialist at Transgender Health Empowerment. For those of you who don’t know Debbie, make it a point to reach out and take in her awesomeness!
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
Town. To me, it feels like a different type of club — very loungey.
Describe your dream wedding.
Ceresville Mansion in Frederick, Md. Custom made dress. Candles. Flowers. And HIPS party favors (free dildos, anyone?). Private and small.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Domestic violence. Being a former victim of domestic violence, it’s an issue close to my heart.
What historical outcome would you change?
Lil’ Kim’s plastic surgery. She looked so much better before.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
When people used to put slits in their jeans and wore two polos. Popped collars for life!
On what do you insist?
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
#ican’t take this weather.
Facebook: #girlslikeus (with a picture of me Kisha Allure)
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
I wouldn’t do anything! It’s wrong and I’d be lying to myself. I like being different.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
I believe in a higher power and centering myself. I want to be at peace.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Sometimes it’s best to get off the seat they hold and experience the lives of people on the ground — reminds them what they’re fighting for.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
That all trans women are sex workers.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
What’s the most overrated social custom?
I hate when people say, “I want to piggy back off of …”
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
I wish I had known it could get better.
Why not? It’s a place for equality.