Although his shift at the San Francisco Marin Food Bank started at 1 p.m., Herlinda Huerta was ready and waiting at the 16th and Mission BART station by 11 a.m.
“I didn’t want to be home, and I hate being late to work,” Huerta said. “I don’t know, I guess I just woke up extra depressed today.”
During the tumultuous past few years, Huerta has struggled to hold down a job, but recently secured the new food bank gig and hopes to keep it for a while.
The 30-year-old said he is recovering from the abrupt end of a long-term relationship three years ago that sent him into a tailspin. People-watching and composing music are some of the only comforts Huerta currently has, he said.
“I write emo rap,” Huerta said, “I write about how I feel and what’s going on in my life, and how I’m heartbroken.”
During a week-long stint in jail over “something stupid,” Huerta said he began writing, and has now made it a regular part of his routine, often writing for three hours a day.
At 15, Huerta moved from Guadalajara, Mexico, to San Francisco, and often writes about how much he misses his parents and hometown.
“I want to make myself proud and my parents proud. I don’t want to be the headache of my parents anymore,” Huerta said.
Though his parents are part of his motivation to press onward, it has been hard for them to accept him as a trans man.
“They believe I’m possessed, and that puts me really down,” Huerta said. “My mom wants to see me with long hair and dressed like a girl.”
Huerta said he is optimistic that one day he will be accepted and have a writing career.
“I know that when that day comes around, my parents will accept me the way I am,” Huerta said.