Raising Zoey: Film and Q&A
Raise Your Voice
Dante Alencastre, California LGBT Arts Alliance/Somos Familia; Ofelia Barba, and Zoey Luna
Workshop Block 3: Saturday, October 21 - 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Raising Zoey is the coming of age story of a transgender teen on a journey to find her voice — as a daughter, sister, student and activist. The film covers topics pertaining to growing up trans in a working-class Latino home, and the intersectionality of the family addresses subjects like immigration, early transitioning, knowing your rights at school as a trans/GNC student, navigating medical insurance, community support, early medical support, suicide prevention, empowerment, and peer to peer advocacy. Following a screening of the 50-minute documentary, there will be Q&A time with Ofelia Barba and Zoey Luna as well as filmmaker Dante Alencastre.

Presenter Bios

Dante Alencastre is a award winning documentary filmmaker and LGBT community activist, based in West Hollywood.  His filmmaking and work on the boards of Los Angeles LGBT arts organizations, political and community groups, is focused particularly on the overlapping Latino/a, Transgender and Gender non-conforming sub-tribes within the community.  Dante found his personal calling documenting the lives of LGBT individuals and communities during a trip back to his native Peru, resulting in the 2007 award-winning film En El Fuego (In the Fire) (LA Outfest Audience Award).  Updating the successes of this Peruvian group of trans activists 5 years later, resulted in the film El Fuego Dentro (The Fire Inside).  Focusing on the personal and professional life of a transgender activist and leader, Dante's documentary Transvisible: Bamby Salcedo's Story premiered at 2013’s Outfest and toured college around the country.

Ofelia Dafne’ Barba a hardworking single mother of three children, Leticia, Javier and Zoey. She is a modest woman but an exemplary mother to Zoey, her transgender daughter. She has become a staunch advocate for her daughters' rights by demanding that school authorities treat her with dignity. With the ACLU, she fought the intimidation tactics these authorities used such as describing Zoey's words as sexual harassment and disruptive behavior when she merely disclosed to peers that she was going to transition. She refused to let the school transfer her out to another school district and into a new school. She filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education – Office of Civil Liberties and won, the second Latino family in California to do this. She has committed herself to becoming a visible advocate and ally to her community, with the desire to empower other parents to do the same.        

Zoey lives in a working class neighborhood in Downey, CA with her mother Ofelia, her older sister, Leticia and her older brother, Javier. 13 year-old Zoey wants nothing more than to simply go to school, learn, have fun with friends and be a kid. Unfortunately, ignorance and intolerance have not always made this easy. Zoey, with the help of her mother and the ACLU, fought school officials for her right to self-identify at school. They won their case in 2014, setting a precedent for other school boards to follow.   LA PRIDE honored her in 2013 with the Outstanding Youth Leader Award, for her work for the betterment of Trans Young People’s lives in regards to LGBT issues. She recently appeared in Laverne Cox Presents: The T-Word on MTV Networks and news stories on CBS and BBC World plus countless magazine articles. In 2015 she was co-Grand Marshall at LA Pride.

Return to We Are the Change: The 2017 PFLAG National Convention.