Feature: Public Health Researcher & Trans Rights Activist Carla Ibarra

Carla Ibarra (she/they) is a proud transgender Filipina immigrant born and raised in Manila, Philippines. Carla moved to Los Angeles, CA in November 2018.


At present, Carla serves as the EHE Respond Lead for the Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.


She is also a public health researcher and member of an all-queer research team at the Brown University School of Public Health, on an NIAAA-funded research on risks, stigma, and resiliency among trans women and femmes of color.


Carla also sits as a council member of the Transgender Advisory Council of the City of Los Angeles, advising the mayor and other elected officials on key issues that face the transgender community.


Carla is also currently a Public Health Master’s degree candidate at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC).



Before moving to the United States in 2018, she earned her bachelor's degree in Consular and Diplomatic Affairs as an academic scholar at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, making her a first-generation college graduate in the family.


While earning her bachelor's degree, she also served as the National Vice Chairperson of the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, the largest assembly of student councils and governments in the country.


Recently, Carla was featured in "The Power of Kindness", a special documentary with Lady Gaga, in honor of the World Kindness Day. Carla talked about her journey with mental health and the power of self-love and kindness.


In May 2022, she was a part of the first-ever MTV Mental Health Youth Action Forum held at the White House, where she met with the US President Joe Biden, the First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, the US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, and Selena Gomez.



Carla and other advocates presented their ideas on transforming mental health awareness into action through storytelling and media.


With more than a decade of advocacy and professional experience grounded in advancing transgender people's rights focusing on education, immigration, and health, she is a budding leader in the City of Los Angeles.


She relentlessly dedicates herself to eliminating health inequities and disparities in underserved communities, particularly the BIPOC Queer, trans, and non-binary communities, by empowering and educating others about the power of representation and holding spaces for one another.


When asked about what her work means to her, Carla shares the following:

“Pride is to continue having the audacity to occupy and create spaces for all BIPOC trans and non-binary people. Trans people like you and I have, and will always have a seat at the table; no one can tell us otherwise.”

For more content and information about Carla, follow her on Instagram (@miss.carlaibarra)!


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