In the kitchen of a small colonial house in Springfield, Mass., Edanry Rivera and Louis Mitchell do-si-do around a coffee maker, handing off the creamer and reaching for a refill.
"Coffee is the lifeblood of my very existence," says Louis Mitchell, 57, a bald transgender man with a graying goatee.
Mitchell owns this home. Rivera, a 27-year-old trans woman, rents a room. Many days, to avoid scoffs, stares and physical threats, Rivera never leaves the house.
"Once I step out there, it's war, sometimes, with people," Rivera says.
Like the day recently when Rivera came under attack, in the grocery checkout line, from some other Puerto Rican women. They left, telling Rivera, "you better watch out when you go outside," she recalls. Rivera works from home, as a marketing writer, to limit such encounters.