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Gender transition gives HIV+ transgender man reason to live

“I’ll Be Damned If I’m Going To Be Buried A Girl.”
NATHAN MANSKE
Founder and Executive Director, "I’m From Driftwood"
Saturday, March 29, 2014
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Teo was in an abusive relationship with a woman, which lead him to be infected with HIV. It was his diagnosis, however, that pushed him to want to finally go through gender transition and lead a more fulfilled life.

“I rapidly went from being HIV-positive to an AIDS diagnosis and 33 T cells and my viral load off the charts; it was unmeasurable. And I couldn’t tolerate the medication, and I had no will to tolerate the medication. Tolerating side effects means that you have to want to tolerate the side effects, and I just couldn’t imagine myself as an old woman, so why would I bother?”

When Teo thought he had nothing else to live for, a therapist reminded him that gender transition was an option:

“I just think I got angry enough that I was like, ‘I’ll be damned if I’m going to die this way, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to be buried a girl.’ So I chose to begin the process of gender transition.”

This is Teo’s story:

“I’m from Driftwood,” a collection of “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer stories from all over the world,” appears weekends on LGBTQ Nation. For more true LGBT stories, or to share your own, visit “I’m from Driftwood.”

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