Claudia Delfin is a proud transgender woman, trailblazer, activist, HIV awareness advocate, and outreach worker. Claudia uses her own personal experience to fuel her outreach efforts in helping the people from the Borderland is a recovery support specialist.
Claudia Delfin is a native Borderland transgender woman. She spent her life crossing back and forth between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez. When she was a teenager, she would sneak out at night with friends to the bars in Juárez. It was at these bars where Claudia felt that she could truly be herself. She would go into the restroom as Ricardo, change into women’s clothing and emerge as Claudia, and then, before returning home, she would change back into her male clothes. Claudia began transitioning in high school during a time where it was not common or widely accepted. She began buying her hormone medication from Juárez and found role models within the older trans women of El Paso, most of whom were drug addicts and sex workers.
After high school, Claudia began attending El Paso Community College; however, due to the temptations of partying and the influences around her, she dropped out of school and soon became a sex worker herself. She quickly found herself homeless and addicted to several different kinds of drugs. Eventually, Claudia even resorted to stealing, which led to an occasion in which she stole someone’s wallet only to take a bullet to the leg. Her actions ultimately landed her in jail multiple times. However, since then Claudia has turned her life around, she has been sober for the past 14 years and today she uses her story to relate to people who may be in the same position as she once was.
Claudia has worked at several nonprofit recovery organizations including Project Vida, an organization that aims to improve the lives of people living in impoverished areas by addressing issues including education, affordable healthcare, and housing. She has also worked at other recovery agencies such as Aliviane, Project Encuentro. She has even served as a board member for El Paso Sun City Pride. Claudia has led group therapy for recovering addicts and has administered HIV testing. As a part of her outreach work, Claudia goes to visit homeless shelters and other areas around El Paso that are known to have issues with gang violence, prostitution, and drugs.
Claudia's story even caught the attention of Jonathan Blitzer, a writer for The New Yorker. Blitzer wrote and published a piece about her in Oxford American
( https://main.oxfordamerican.org/item/669-humanity-on-the-street ) Because of her service to her community, she continues to get invited to speak at several local events including UTEP’s Queer Prom, Transgender Day Remembrance, the Texas Transgender Health Coalition in Austin, and at El Paso Sun City Pride. Claudia’s outreach efforts earned her the Dan B Rawlings Award for Outreach worker of the year in the state of Texas in 2015. Today, Claudia continues to inspire and empower people with her incredible story while continuing to use her voice and experience to fight for others.