Transcendent's Bambiana & Xristina Reveal What It's Like Being Transgender & Latina

Transcendent is a show premiering on Fuse about the ladies of Asia SF, a cabaret restaurant/night club in the heart of San Francisco. The restaurant has been employing people in the transgender community for more than 17 years. We spoke to Bambiana and Xristina about their roles on the show and their journey being transgender women in today’s society.

RELATED: Self-Made Woman: A Transgender Latina Tells Her Story

Can you talk to us about your role on the show?

I’m actually one of the newest ladies that work there; I’ve been working there for 3 years. Asia SF has always been like a home for all of us because this is a community that hasn't always been out there. Asia SF was one of the first places where we found employment and we found opportunity to be ourselves, and to relate to other people. You get to see us working and also you get to see us in our personal lives, our homes, and issues that we go through like dating, finding other employment and/or other issues. You also get to see how crazy, and how fun and how sexy we are. Because it’s not about all having fun, I think Transcendent is going to showcase the different levels of what it is to be a trans woman. It’s also going to show how much fun it is to be liberated for once, that’s a thing that I always said about myself. I never started living until I started transitioning into the correct gender that I was meant to be and I think most women can relate to that comment.

What’s it like for you joining all the transgender women at Asia SF?

It’s always the hardest going into a workplace and trying to fit in with a group of people that have been there for so many years. So yes, it was a little bit of a challenge for me especially because I’m the new one and I’ve been trying to fit in the family. They definitely have a strong family but little by little I’m gaining everyone’s respect and love. I’m feeling like I fit in today more at Asia SF more than any other place.

What do you enjoy most about filming the show Transcendent?

Personally, I am the biggest attention whore you will ever meet [Laughs]. So any type of attention that you give me I love. I was born to be on the stage and that’s why I enjoy working at Asia SF. Asia SF is providing me with a stage where I could just stand up there and be admired by a lot of people.  Since I was little, I’ve always wanted to put on a show for everyone; it’s just my nature. Transcendent is a platform to showcase myself, what I can do, what I can offer, but also talk about the one thing that I am really sensitive about: children and animals. I am just hoping that with this show, we can open people’s minds so the children can have it easier, so they can have it better. That is the one motive, and another big motive that I have for doing this show is I have someone really close to me right now that is 10 years old that has been living as a trans kid for four years. I always have her in the back of my head. She cries to me, and she tells me “Auntie, they don’t let me use the girls bathroom” and stuff like that and it just brings out everything that I went through when I was young. I definitely want to be able to open people’s minds so we can be included with the rest of the world.

So, what’s it like for you being a Latina and being transgender?

A little bit easier than the rest because I’m way hotter than the rest [Laughs]. Well there’s no question that Latina girls are way sexier. The thing about our community is that when you are semi-good looking and semi-sexy you can have it a little bit easier. I thank my mom and my dad for being Hispanic. I’m from Spain and I came here when I was 19, at first when I moved to America I felt I didn’t fit in anywhere but the Latin community was definitely a place where I felt more at home. I’ve always been with my Latinas and their sexiness. The Latino culture in this country it’s so freaking sexy I can’t take it. It is so beautiful.

Have you ever experienced discrimination from the Latino community too, because you are transgender?

Everyday I’m somewhat judged but everyday I’m somewhat admired as well. I mean yeah even from the Latin community I have felt the discrimination, but I’ve always been me, I have been me all my life. I am made of really thick skin at this point. I am so used to it by now that when I feel the discrimination, I feel like it is my job to prove them that I’m a good person with a good heart and good intentions. So yeah, I’ve experienced discrimination for sure, especially when it comes to dating. It’s been tough especially dating Latin boys because they’re so sexual. The first thing they want to do is grab me and undress me and treat me like a sex toy. But that’s not the way I am, that’s not the way it is, I’m a human, I’m a hopeless romantic. Somehow, the Latin boys especially have always looked at me as a sex toy; they have never really taken me too seriously. I’m not saying all Latin boys, but a lot of the Latin men. It’s funny because when they first meet me they treat me like the biggest princess in the world, and they want to buy me the world, they want to marry me, they want to put me in a white dress. But then the minute I tell them I’m a trans woman, they ask me for sex favors. What is going on here? I educate men at all times, I remind them that I’m not a trans woman because I want to sleep with men, I am a trans woman because I was born this way.

What do you want our readers to know about you?

I’m honestly just like everyone else. I am just like you. I’m the same girl that you are, I feel the same way you feel, I was just born in the wrong body.

What do you hope comes out of the show?

Not awareness, but inclusion. Inclusion is what I want to happen for our community. We don’t want to be just accepted in the world, we want to be included in the world. I don’t want you to just be ok with me, I want you to include me in your life. I want you to see me as your sister, as your wife, as your friend, as your blood, as human. I just want to be treated the same way as everyone gets treated, and of course I want to create a better future for the children. 

Read Xristina's interview on page 2 >>