For LGBT immigrants, the DACA fight means coming out of two closets

Francisco Bautista’s birth certificate from his native Mexico has an ambiguous ‘X’ marked in the middle of the two boxes that identify his gender. Right in the middle. No male nor female. "How do they know? The universe is so funny," said the 26-year-old. Franky, as he calls himself, identifies as a gender fluid person. He has a feminine look — women’s shoes and a blouse — and switches from English to Spanish when ordering panqueques and jugo de naranja, pancakes and orange juice, at a Denny’s in the neighborhood of Oak Lawn in Dallas, Texas. Being different, Franky faced hopelessness, fear and shame as he struggled with his identity. Those challenging years have been followed by optimism, confidence and joy as he’s learned to accept who he is. But Franky lives in two worlds. Read more: He’s one of a small group of LGBT people who grew up as unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. He is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient. Now that safety net allowing many children of immigrants to stay in the U.S. may be taken away. Where once it was hard for him to come out in the macho culture he was raised […]