Prostitution, Black Market Drugs & Being Transgender in Venezuela

Meet Paola, a transgender prostitute in Venezuela, as she navigates through black market hormone injections used to transition.

Shot and Edited by Carlos Perez Beltran

In Venezuela, many transgender women turn to prostitution as a way to make money. Most of Venezuelan society looks at them as weirdos and outcasts, which severely minimizes their opportunities. To make matters worse, they have little to no access to the hormones they need in order to make their transition. Some males transitioning to female resort to taking birth control pills as a way to ingest estrogen, which can cause health problems down the line.

RELATED: Why Bikers Are Being Murdered in Venezuela

The right kind of hormones can be obtained in Colombia, but the journey is long and difficult and can be quite risky. Even though the transgender community has a hard time finding acceptance in Venezuela, there are currently 47 different organizations working to ensure the safety and equality of every transgender person in the country.

Read more about being transgender in Venezuela:

Reuters: Venezuela's first transgender candidate to run for Congress