03/16/2018 The Huffington Post
TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, MEXICO — Sitting at the kitchen table in her friend’s apartment, Fanny Romero flicked her fingers across the screen of her smartphone, scrolling through seemingly endless WhatsApp messages from men inquiring about her availability for the night.
Huddled up to her, Anyela Zuniga scrutinized the names flying by on the screen. “Ugh, I blocked that guy, too. He gave me the creeps,” she told her friend, pointing at one name as the scrolling came to a halt.
Both transgender women, Romero and Zuniga are sex workers in the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the humid capital of Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas. They work for themselves, communicating with clients through Facebook and WhatsApp and deciding their own hours and rates. Their occupation involves many risks and challenges ― the biggest of them all simply staying safe while on the job.