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PRIDE, From a Proud HIV-Positive Lesbian

June 1, 2011

Maria T. Mejia

Maria T. Mejia

I have pride and I am a proud HIV- positive lesbian female. Coming from an ultraconservative Hispanic family, it was a very hard step for me to deal with many issues in my life and be able to speak about them -- or "come out," as they say. I was very confused when I was young -- being sexually abused at the tender age of 3; having someone that was supposed to take care of me, a family member, take away my innocence -- I learned to block things and keep things inside. I never thought I would end up in love and married to a woman! We have been together for four years and she is my everything -- my true soulmate.

I was diagnosed with HIV at a very young age -- I was just turning 18 -- so I only had my mother, who was my rock in the process of dealing with an illness that was killing people very fast. I'd always thought to myself, during this journey of being positive, that my running away from home and joining a gang, the things we had to go through in our home with my father, and then having to tell her that I was HIV positive was just enough for her to handle. I didn't want to give her one more thing to worry about, and tell her: "Mom, I am a LESBIAN also!"

So I just went through life, trying to do what was considered normal, and not give my mother more pain. It was really about her. She has always been so supportive! And I always had my gay friends; she was always very kind to them, but I know that she would've loved to have seen me married and having children.

Maria and her partner, Lisa.

Maria and her partner, Lisa.

As time passed and I started getting older, I started working out my own issues -- and I still am! I am a work in progress. :) I came out of the closet, as they say, maybe eight years ago ... but I was still hiding it from my mother, even though mothers KNOW. She is so understanding and loving; I was just afraid to hurt her more! She is like the military: DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL. But when I met my partner, Lisa, I just couldn't hold the happiness and joy I had inside! I felt I had to share it with my mother. By this time I was also coming out of the HIV closet to the whole world, and I was ready and proud. I felt like a butterfly!

Maria's mother!

Maria's mother!

So, I went to visit my mother -- as I always do, once a year -- last year. We were on the patio of the house, on a bench. having a talk. I was beating around the bush, and I was like "Mom, I have to tell you something about me ..." and she responded "What? That you are with Lisa?" I said "YES!!! Ohmygod, you knew." She said "Yes!" Wow -- mothers do know you! She told me, as she said to me when I found out I was positive 20 years ago: "I am here for you."

I cried! I am so blessed to have a mother like this, who does not judge me; just loves me, accepts me, prays for me, and is my example for life!

So my pride has to do more with being proud of who I am as a human being.

Love and Light,

Maria T. Mejia

Send Maria an e-mail.

Read more of Time to Show My Face and Take the Stigma Away, Maria T. Mejia's blog, at

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This article originally appeared in's Pride 2011 special section.

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This article was provided by TheBody.

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Pradeep (Mumbai) Sun., Jul. 10, 2011 at 9:33 am UTC
Dear Maria,
you are really lucky for getting such devine Mom.Very few people are so lucky to get such nice parents.i also appreciate your boldness.Please Be forward to end stigma associaated with HIV.
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Comment by: Maria (Miami) Fri., Jun. 7, 2013 at 5:17 pm UTC
Amen xo

Comment by: tolyx (angelexo) Mon., Jun. 13, 2011 at 1:48 pm UTC
Hello maria! I'm very much impressed by your courageous act! Youknow there's more to life than been a lesbian cos such an act increases the prestige of lower animals than the's not just gainin happiness through it that matters but what counts here is does ur conscience accepts that? Know that there's healin in Jesus and even with this problems you passed through,JESUS can restore all cos i know that's there's still elements of truth within you that tell ya that such an act is inhuman youknow!
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Comment by: Maria (Miami) Wed., Jul. 6, 2011 at 4:51 pm UTC
Inhuman to be a lesbian?? jesus does love me! it is those that always claim to be in the right path that always break his number one rule! thou shall not judge! and if you go by everything the bible says! then you should know that it is also written that slavery is ok! so if you think that being gay is wrong! then you should accept that slavery is ok! its all in the BIBLE! now be blessed! and stop judging me...
Comment by: marissa Thu., Nov. 29, 2012 at 1:27 pm UTC
Leave maria alone.
She can love who she wants. Being gay is not just about sex. It's about love. Dosn't the bible say The greatest of these is love.

Comment by: dataram s. (mauritius) Mon., Jun. 13, 2011 at 1:18 am UTC
its so dramatic and suprising . been abuse in childhood is the worst thing that happen to many child . it is so low to have a parent us of his own . some time those beast do make us suffer a whole life . am proud you have taken the right decision to talk and dear maria there is a long for u to go . take much care and be your self as usual . the futur shall be bright for u and those living behind this taboo ya this stigma .
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Comment by: maria (Miami) Mon., Jun. 13, 2011 at 5:47 pm UTC
Ty you so much for your kind words! yes we suffer from this..I am still in the process of healing :0

Comment by: María (México) Mon., Jun. 6, 2011 at 7:20 pm UTC
Hola María, leo tu blog regularmente, pero me gustaría que escribieras también en español para todas las mujeres que necesitamos inspirarnos con alguien como tú, pero que no saben inglés.
Un saludo de tu tocaya.
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Comment by: Maria (Miami) Tue., Jun. 7, 2011 at 11:41 am UTC
Hola Maria tengo muchos videos en youtube que he hecho en se si tienes face book?? agregame Maria Hiv ..ahi encontraras articulos en espanol etc etc! muchas gracias por seguirme :)

Comment by: Michelle Lopez (Brooklyn, NY) Thu., Jun. 2, 2011 at 2:15 pm UTC
Maria, I am so proud of your standing up and speaking as a Positive lesbian, there is this notion that Lesbians do not live with the Virus and that we are also invisible in this community. Thanks for sharing of your story and taking life by the "horn" and living it to the fullest. You are an inspiration to many and thank you for being the person that you are, smart, beautiful and full of life.
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Comment by: Maria (Miami) Mon., Jun. 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm UTC
Ty Michelle for your kind words! xoxo

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