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Community Interview: Socorro Moreland


Editor’s Note: Transfaith talks to activist, transgender services coordinator, and case manager Socorro Moreland at the 2016 Black Trans Advocacy Conference.

How would you describe your spiritual or philosophical perspective?

I grew up in the Catholic church but my family is Episcopal. I've been going to church since I was born. Since I grew up in the church, my family has always been spiritual, and I've always been a rebel rouser, I have always questioned religion. Honestly my spirituality has evolved from what the church has told me it is.

How have your spiritual or philosophical perspectives evolved over time and what kinds of opportunities and challenges have shaped your perspective?

I've always been a "why" person. My spiritual links have changed and my adaptation to what has happened biblically has changed. Its caused some people to turn some heads, but I'm unapologetic with who I am, so if I want an answer I'm going to find it. If I'm questioning something I'm going to question it. Questioning my faith and what my church has taught me has actually made me a better person. In return I can also talk to other people about religion and about what I've gone through and the majority of people get it. I think its just something as you focus on books, and books, and books - like in my church its The Book of Common Prayer. You kneel, you sit, you stand, you eat a wafer, you drink some water and then you repent. But what is the situation that led to that? What led to those writings? What led to The Bible? Who wrote The Bible? Those were all things that I asked.

I would be in Sunday School like "why? why? why? why?why?" and they'd be like "You know what, stop asking why! This is just what it is!" So I had to branch out: do my own research and look inside myself. A lot of people go through sexuality and situations with The Bible but what I always remember [with] The Bible is that if you're telling me that this is a real book then God made me in his own image. So that's something I can't take back. I know that God knew what I was going to do before I even did it, so there's a plan and that's my life plan.

How do you see your spiritual practices or worldview relate to the work that you do in the world?

I treat others as I would like to be treated. I think that's the most important aspect that I've taken from anything that I've been taught. We all sin. We're all people. We're all made in his image. I've always worked in HIV services, that is what I was made to do. A lot of my friends died, a lot of my friends got HIV [and] AIDS. I thought the best way for me to give back to my community was to be that kind face and not to go and criticize them for things that they cannot control because its really in the cards. God knows everything that's going to happen to you before it happens. [They] were going to go through these situations, and what better way to give back than to work within my community and to reflect with them and at the same time be with them as they struggle with religion, when they struggle with government, or when they struggle with these economic situations?

Socorro “Cori” Moreland was born in 1985 to a revolutionary family committed to social justice liberation and the black power movement in Oakland, California. Socorro started working with the GLBTQ community early in his life wondering why there wasn't any representation for people of color so, he decided to volunteer with several Bay Area organizations dedicated to GLBTQ communities of color. Socorro has been working in and out of the SF bay queer community for eleven years.  He found his calling within HIV prevention and coordinates a couple of transgender people of color groups even recently becoming a transgender services coordinator and case manager for one of the oldest HIV CBO's in the Bay Area California. Socorro has been active within the HIV prevention and care community co-creating the campaign #unapologetic with APEB Oakland, BTAN (Black Treatment Advocacy Network), QTY (Queer and Trans Youth Network) and Black Lives Matter network. Socorro is a well known advocate, social justice warrior and one of the many up and coming influential leaders within the transgender people of color movement across the United States.


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