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Marriage Is Still an Option

By Justin B. Terry-Smith

December 27, 2010

When I found out I was HIV positive I wasn't really thinking about if I was going to ever get married. But just my luck, which was good, I did get married to the most beautiful man in my life, Dr. Philip B Terry-Smith. This past summer Phil and I were approached by students at University of Maryland to take part in a documentary. The documentary was about marriage and the different kinds of marriages and how they work. The documentary profiles four couples: a heterosexual man and bisexual woman, an older couple, a couple who met through Internet dating, and a gay couple (us). The documentary shows that there are differences and similarities, but also shows that there shouldn't be a "cookie cutter" of what marriage should be.


The couples in the documentary have a lot of differences: One couple is wise. They have an experience that none of the other couples have, and that is time. They have seen things that none of us will see or have to see because they were raised in a different time.

One of the other couples is a man and woman who have foster children. Their story was so interesting, and you can see that they have a lot of love between them and their children.

Another couple is a young couple that met on an online dating service. They are very different and seem to take life as it goes, which seems to work for them just fine.

Then there is my husband and I and well, I don't know, take a look at the video and there you can see how we met and how we work.

On a traditional marriage in America you have a man and a woman, but in my opinion I don't have a traditional marriage and I don't have to and I don't want one. The only people that define my marriage are me and my husband (the people that are in it). There are people in this world that constantly say that same-sex marriage is not right. They constantly use the Bible as their defense on why same-sex marriage is against God. But whose God are they talking about? They are certainly not talking about my God. My husband and I are not Christians and it seems to be okay with our Gods that we are married. We just want equal protections under the law that heterosexuals take for granted.

I ALSO want to state that just because you are HIV positive doesn't mean you will never get married. Do not give up on love and it will not give up on you. Love will happen eventually: sometimes it takes two hours, two days, two months or two years. I'm very optimistic when it comes to love because it is and always will be the most powerful thing in the world. Love has started and stopped wars and so it is my belief that love will last forever even if only in one's heart.

Well take a look at the documentary and I hope you all like it!

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See Also
More Viewpoints Related to HIV/AIDS Among Gay Men


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Justin's HIV Journal

Justin B. Terry-Smith

Justin B. Terry-Smith

Justin B. Terry-Smith, M.P.H., may be one of the most public African Americans living with HIV: He has his own website, and he's even on YouTube. He is a noted HIV and gay civil rights activist and the creator of "Justin's HIV Journal," a popular blog in which he shares his trials and tribulations of living with HIV. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Justin resides in Laurel, Maryland, with his husband, Dr. Philip Terry-Smith, and their son, Lundyn. Presently, Justin is working toward earning his doctorate in public health. He welcomes your questions.
(Photo credit: Don Harris)

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