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I'm Just Giving Him What He Gives Me: Love, Respect and Support

Maria Mejia Speaks Out as a Long-Term Survivor of HIV Who Is Married to a Trans Man in Transition

June 28, 2017 invited our longtime contributor Maria Mejia, who has been "living and surviving with HIV for 29 years," to share her experience of supporting her husband Li as he takes his next steps in transitioning as a transgender man.

"I am married to the love of my life. ... A lot of people ask me, 'Oh, how is your wife doing?' and I have to say, 'No, my husband," Mejia explains via video. "Li is in transition, has been on testosterone and has been very, very happy to be who he is. ... He supports me with my health and HIV; I support him as far as working out, being there to motivate him, as well, and support him in any ways I can."

"There have been some things that have happened to him that have affected me, and I've been there supporting him in [dealing with] ignorance," she says, sharing how he was often harassed in gendered bathrooms before his transition and at times would just avoid them altogether.

"I also supported him through something in the beginning of the year, which was his top surgery, which was something amazing for him," she adds. "It made him feel more complete; he finally didn't see the top that would really bother him a lot. ... A lot of people have to go through a lot to get those surgeries, so he was very blessed to get it."

"He mentions that he doesn't like when people ask 'well do you have your bottom surgery' -- that's, to him, very inappropriate. I get asked that question a lot, too, because people assume that it's very difficult for me," she says. "I try to respond in the most classiest way that I can: That whatever is down there is really not anybody's business. No matter what the situation is, I'm happy and he's happy."

"We have a normal relationship, just like any other relationship. We've been together 10 years. Hopefully, we'll be together 10 more years or till death do we part," she concludes. "He's just being true to who he is, and because of that, he's a warrior to me.

"I am just giving to him what he gives me: love, respect and support. We show our faces with respect and dignity to educate the world and to let the world know that we're just human beings trying to be happy. Be true to yourself, do not feel ashamed, do not feel embarrassed and just continue being blessed and blessing others. ... There's too much hate in the world to continue smashing and making people feel bad for who they are: We're all beautiful just the way we are."

JD Davids is the managing editor for and

Follow JD on Twitter: @JDAtTheBody.

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This article was provided by TheBody.

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