Transitions at Benach Collopy- Andres / Ava Edition

ACB Speaking

Here I want to re-introduce myself.  For seventeen years, I have had the privilege of practicing the best type of law- immigration law.  I have been so lucky to get to know so many brave, hard-working, family-oriented, and generous people from all over the globe.  They all shared one thing in common: a willingness to take a chance to come to the U.S. to be the person they knew they were meant to be.  Some overcame strict religious limitations or gender roles; others endured political persecution or crushing poverty.  People came to the U.S. in cargo holds of ships, on top of trains, in the back seat of cars, on jet airplanes, across oceans and deserts.  It is hard to do this work and not be amazed at the determination of the human spirit to take a chance on leaving the comfort and security of the known for the uncertain future of life as an immigrant in America.

The spirit displayed by so many of my clients has been instrumental in helping me leave behind the known and comfortable.  That has not involved crossing a desert full of smugglers and snakes, but rather shedding the protective armor of masculinity that I wrapped around myself.  My clients, friends, and, most importantly, my family gave me the courage to admit that I was transgender and I was ready to make the journey of transitioning to a woman.  This process has brought great peace for me and has revealed so much beauty and grace from my community, my colleagues and my clients.


While so many things have changed and will change, some things will never change.  This includes my law practice.  Nothing gives me greater joy than helping people achieve their American dreams.  There is no greater gift than coming to work with my outstanding partners and staff and working hard every day to serve our clients.  Benach Collopy remains dedicated to getting our clients where they want to go and advocating for the rights and dignity of all migrants everywhere.  And while many things you may find familiar about Andres Benach will be gone, I assure you that the important things will remain and grow stronger with Ava Benach.

27 thoughts on “Transitions at Benach Collopy- Andres / Ava Edition

  1. You are beautiful inside and out. There is nothing better than to see someone be so happy and true to themselves. Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your story. I am going to share it with my transgender clients to show what a positive impact transgender people have on our society.

  2. Ava, we could not be more pleased to read about the changes in your life, we can’t imagine how freeing this must be for you. Please accept our congratulations on your decision to move forward and embrace your true self. We wish you the very best and look forward to seeing you the next time you are in Salt Lake. Love Tim and Gloria

    1. Thank you so much Tim and Gloria and so nice to hear from you. Too bad that we finally won our SLC case. Only took three trips to SLC. Would have liked a fourth. We will make it out there soon- on our way to Montana.

  3. Ava, as you said, one is “amazed at the determination of the human spirit to take a chance on leaving the comfort and security of the known for the uncertain future of life”. You are amazing and have taken that chance and have clearly not lost, but rather gained the comfort and security of your life that has been suppressed for years. Bonnie and I congratulate you and wish you every happiness possible. Remember, our door is always open for you. Please stop by. Bob and Bonnie Satovick

  4. Congratulations Ava! You have always been one of the nicest people I’ve known, so I am thrilled to see you so happy.

  5. Ava, you may remember that you helped our Chinese friends some years back. They are thriving, and they and we will remain forever grateful to you. We’re happy for you that you’re you’ve made the transition (and by the way you look great)!

  6. Dear Ava,
    Thank you for successfully doing my naturalization! I wish you continued successes and joy and happiness during your transition and always!

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