PayPal goes from North Carolina to Tampa in search of Soraya Sobreidad

 In chef, healthy cooking, LGBTQ rights, Press Releases, Puerto Rican, Trans News, transgender

Fit, Fierce Foodie!

PayPal goes from North Carolina to Tampa in search of Soraya Sobreidad

Holas! I am Soraya Sobreidad, The Queen of Healthy Latin Cooking! Welcome to my blog at FIERCE-O-RAMA Recordings, here in Jackson Heights NY!

It’s here where I record my cooking shows, and it’s here in this wonderful space and community that I have flourished. My visibility creatively and professionally as a LGBTQ transgender chef, cooking show host, transgender DJ, music producer and graphic artist has been incredible.

Jackson heights is a very warm, multicultural and LGBTQ friendly community.

Speaking of, I want to thank Councilman Daniel Dromm for a great review of my cooking show and food.

I have a strong interest in politics!  I have had the wonderful opportunity to interview councilman Dromm on Soraya Sobreidad’s FIERCE Cooking Show!

The topics covered were the introduction of Pre K for all and the issuance and benefits of the New York Municipal ID cards.

Councilman Dromm has been influential to Jackson Heights in a myriad of ways. Including the wonderful and fabulous LGBTQ parade which the councilman started 24 years ago! Thank you Councilman Dromm. I hope to document new interviews with you soon!

As a Puerto Rican who lives and breathes under the LGBTQ trans and gender fluid umbrella, I’d like to get really current on some really important news that happened right on my birthday, March 23rd!

The governor of North Carolina signed a bill that prevents transgendered individuals from using public facilities appropriate to the sex they identify with. As well as restricting cities from passing non-discrimination laws more broadly.

“Rather than expand nondiscrimination laws to protect all North Carolinians, the General Assembly instead spent $42,000 to rush through an extreme bill that undoes all local nondiscrimination laws and specifically excludes gay and transgender people from legal protections,” says Sarah Preston, acting executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina.

This is disappointing news. However, I am grateful that the conversation is present. The concern regarding equal rights and liberties to the LGBTQ transgender community in North Carolina, is no longer dormant.

The contrast of this above movement, comes in the form of the decision from PayPal. PayPal, a very popular and widely used online payment system was planning to place headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.

So, as a result, PayPal says it will no longer open its facility in Charlotte, which was expected to employ 400 people. PayPal had announced its plans to open the operations center only two weeks ago.

Dan Shulman, CEO of PayPal states, “Becoming an employer in North Carolina, where members of our teams will not have equal rights under the law, is simply untenable. The new law perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture.”   

Right on, Dan!

 I can recall when just a few years ago, I was starting to let my hair grow to shoulder length.  I also wanted to let my fingernails develop to their full “diva” potential! As I was coming to personal terms and fame with The New York Times review, I felt so much pride in fully becoming more of my true self at the workplace. However, I was being asked from coworkers about where I stood as an LGBTQ person. What the deal was with my hair and nails.  As if it’s anyone’s business.

I so desired to come to work as Soraya. I wanted to come to the office In that wonderful semi open back animal print dress made more fabulous and famous on my Food Network “Chopped” appearance!

My voice would be the same with that dress on. My performance and willingness to provide the best service to the consumer would be the same. Or better! So why not?

Prior to that, I can recall being reprimanded quite harshly for using and image of myself, Soraya Sobreidad, The Queen of healthy Latin Cooking in a group email.  Other coworkers added images to a very fun and lovely diva theme message. It was circulating internally. I added my fun professional input.  Again, myself in that animal print dress was in the picture! I guess it was inappropriate. I was called into the office!

I was clothed of course, posing and being myself in the image. Displaying pride of my weight loss. My pride and accomplishment to be able to look amazingly myself as a Latina woman!

I guess the image of a coworker in transgender form was too much. I presented myself at work as a male. Though I did feel I had the right to come as I wanted.

With that, which bathroom would I use?

I am sure an employer would rather not address those issues. There were many openly gay male employees there. Maybe that’s as much as they could handle for NYC in 2014-2015. To incorporate the laws, rights for transgender people; to let Jaime, now Soraya come to work in a frock; and the choice of what bathroom to use. Well, maybe that’s too much!

It’s My Turn like a Diana Ross song. She was born March 26! Aries like me!  It’s our turn now to speak up. Be visible in our communities. It’s our turn to let folks know that we are here to contribute to the best that society is. The best that any workplace wants to be as well.

We deserve, comfort, autonomy, equal rights, and the freedom to use the bathroom we feel most aligned to.

I am sort of feisty and spunky. I have used the men’s room on many non LGBTQ occasions.  While being at public gatherings, award ceremonies and performances. 

I remember my interviews for Food Network and visiting their headquarters in NYC. I have to say, I was stunning that day. Like any other person, I needed to use the bathroom. I choose the men’s room. Yes, I was starred at in the mirror. I rather confront a guy in the men’s room. At a Citified award show, security was called when I used the men’s room. I did not give any attention to the issue. I went about my business. I look like a woman, and have a penis. So what?  It has been my choice to use the men’s room. It may continue to be for a while. But that’s my choice.

However, in public restrooms at other places, that would be a different call and a different situation.

I love all gender bathrooms. In that case everyone just does their thing and keeps it moving. No problemo! Que rico!

I know that we will come together in time on this issue. Times are changing quickly. We will all come to speed on this.

I am looking more and more feminine. I am currently recuperating from a lowering of my hairline, as well as some grafting of my residual KFC and Burger King fat. That fat has been transferred beautifully from my belly to my proud Puerto Rican cheeks!

DANCE 0 05 51-30

Though I have lost 80 lbs, there is some fat that just won’t go away totally! I have a head wrap on as I type.  Less than a week in healing. I am on antibiotics. Extra Strength Tylenol along with Boris are my best-est friends! I am looking more feminine now. With each step forward there is such excitement and anticipation. I will keep it positive as I am grateful I have the means and time to make these changes. I have the integrity and courage to move forward on my process.

In the next few months, my entire body will be sculptured as well. Thus really giving me the “Fitness, Fierce, Foodie, transgender healthy Latin Cooking chef look that I am known for. Just in a more comfortable way for my purposes. Less form fitting garments. A tighter stomach, firmer arms, shapely buttocks, etc.

All the things someone with lifelong obesity and now loose skin can surgically address. We all desire personal comfort in our physical bodies.  I desire the same wholeness and sexiness like anyone else. Like any man or woman maintaining an 80 lb weight loss with a fabulous past career as a yo-yo dieter!

I will be in more fun places.  Promoting my recipes, my healthy cooking techniques, my cook books, food lines. As well as my experience, strength and hope from overeating. My path to becoming the fit, fierce foodie I am today. Soraya Sobreidad, The Queen of Healthy Latin Cooking!

I am sure I will continue to be welcomed and accepted by many, if not all persons. I will offer compassion and understanding to all.

 I think of days when blacks were not allowed to sit at the same counters to eat, water fountains to drink and bathrooms to use. I honor and respect so much the advances made for by the black and brown communities. This has been the groundwork for all of us to have liberties and make the advances we enjoy and strive for today.

I know that as a society we are doing our very best, at this moment, to be all inclusive. Understanding of all.

I will walk softly and carry a loving spirit to all I meet and encounter. 

North Carolina is offering us an opportunity to understand more of where we are.  In hand, comes the promise and joy of where we are headed.

A dialogue is in place. Here, we are talking and listening. Some of us are also cooking delicious healthy Latin meals!

Let’s keep the home fires burning with warmth in our hearts.  For ourselves, our families, friends and neighbors.

PayPal is known to be a supporter of LGBT rights. So widely used by all. The service they provide to all of us in wonderful!  The company earned a 100% ranking on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2016 Corporate Equality Index, a national report on corporate policies related to LGBT workplace equality.

I thank PayPal and Dan Schulman for opening the door. I feel great and look pretty in the mirror in the bathroom I choose to use!

Mr. Dan Shulman, why not bring those 400 jobs to Jackson Heights NY??!! We’d love to have you here!



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