Ezra James Garza
Favorite Quote: “You’re lovely. You make me lovely and it’s so lovely to be lovely to the one I love.”
I’m Ezra James Garza, and I am an 18-year-old Hispanic transgender male and a native Houstonian. I currently live in Houston and I am currently enrolled at the University Of Houston-Downtown where I am majoring in criminal justice to become an officer of the law. I was born and raised in Houston, but moved to the Porter/New Caney area in my early teens.
Right before my admittance to the U of H Downtown, I previously attended Infinity Early College High School. During my four years at this institution, I was able to obtain my associate of arts degree in criminal justice. The amount of work I had doubled, for sure. I had to take on college work as well as high school work and some high school bullies as well. During the last year I spent at Infinity — from September 2017 through May 2018 — I was able to volunteer a lot in the New Caney Independent School District. I was able to attend one of the middle schools every Friday and help out the teachers and staff with the students. I was the vice president of my Interact club until I graduated in May 2018. We were a club dedicated to community service. I am proud to say that out of the three high schools in NCISD, we were able to raise the most food for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Food Drive.
I’ve been out for the past two years now, and to be completely honest, things have always been unstable and rocky as a result of some family members’ reaction. My immediate family, all but my younger sister, were against me. It is hard to stay positive when everyone around you is against you.
But I made it through all the tears, and all the arguments. My extended family hadn’t retaliated like my immediate family. The extended family kind of just kept their opinions to themselves and gave me respect. I am very grateful for that. My mother and father don’t support my lifestyle at all and we kind of have this mutual, “let’s not talk about it” attitude. It’s hard, but despite everything, I try to remain as positive as I can be, because I know that life won’t always be as hard as it seems.
My experiences with bullying played a major role in shaping who I am today. Whether something was said to me or behind my back, I fought hard to be myself and I still fight every day to be who I am. Over the course of these past few years, I’ve come to realize that it’s my life and I shouldn’t let others dictate who I am and will become. Before I met my partner, I could not grasp the concept of “soulmates.” It seemed impossible and unreachable especially in a world like this. Soon after meeting her, however, I came to the conclusion that soulmates do in fact exist. We’ve been together for a year now, but I feel like I’ve known her all my life. We help each other grow positively as individuals, emotionally and mentally. Nothing has ever felt forced as if, “we have to.” It’s more of an “I’d love to,” or “I’d like to.” Our connection is truly something lovely.
I’ve always been passionate about helping out the LGBT+ community, especially the trans community. Being able to help out and contribute some form of representation to an HIV prevention campaign was a real factor for me. Personally, I’ve never taken PrEP before, but I believe it is definitely beneficial — not only for the trans community but African Americans and Hispanics as well. Oftentimes, for a plethora of reasons, we aren’t always exposed to these preventative measures. Usually, it comes from a lack of sexual as well as health education. But if more and more people were to be made aware, we’d all be more knowledgeable and rational with our decisions.
As for getting an HIV test, honestly, it’s more important to be safe than sorry. It’s like carrying around a condom in your wallet. You’d rather have it and not need it than to not have it and need it. Same goes for testing. It’s better to know your status than to guess and assume that everything’s alright.
As a trans male, the most important thing to me is helping out and making a difference. Even if it’s a small one. Being able to give someone like me the reassurance that things in life do get better is important to me. Because I know what it is like to be in their shoes and to struggle with that feeling of “I feel stuck,” or, “there’s no progress.” Being able to encourage them to stay strong and help them fight for who they are is something I find to be very important.
Growing up, my family was really dysfunctional and I saw a lot and learned a lot from my parents’ mistakes. So, a major, long-term goal is to be an incredible father and an amazing husband.
When I hear this phrase, “Live Healthy, Live Longer,” I think of living life positively in many different ways, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
And when I hear, “I am here, I exist, I matter,” I think of people of all different backgrounds standing together just being who they are. For me, it means “This is me, who I am. You don’t have to like it, but just respect it.”
Overall, it’s been a struggle and continues to be a struggle, but I do what I must to keep my head held high and to achieve my goals. Also, I’m proud to announce that February 17, 2019 will be my one-year anniversary on hormone treatment.