Bec Sokha Keo is a Ph.D. candidate studying social work at the University of Houston. They work as a Public Impact Scholar in a capacity building center that partners with organizations led by and serving people living with HIV in the Deep South. Keo is a Houston native, but their family immigrated to the United States as refugees from Cambodia to escape the genocide carried out by the Khmer Rouge. Keo has been involved in many organizations that promote and advocate for the rights of those in the LGBTQ+ community, even helping co-found a local organization to bring together transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming people of all ages, their loved ones and providers. Even though there have been challenges of racism and elitism, Keo remains active and hopeful in making a change. Keo has also testified in the Texas state legislature in opposition to Senate Bill 6, a bill that was anti-trans and anti-gender non-conforming, as well as co-authoring multiple statements against discriminatory legislature. They give advice to those seeking to be active in policy and speak about the struggles of growing up in a community that both accepted them for their heritage yet hurt them for their gender expression and sexuality.
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