Home > Blog > I Don’t Have to Live in Fear or Shame Anymore

I knew I was a boy for as long as I can remember.  

Growing up, I borrowed my older brother’s clothes—saggy pants and over-sized shirts—and wanted to play sports and marbles like the boys in my neighborhood. 

My mother tried to beat the boy out of me. I was scolded and abused by family members for being a marimacho (“dyke”). I was convinced that I was never going to be able to live as my true self. I feared I would hurt myself if I didn’t leave Mexico.

As a teen, I fled my hometown and made the dangerous 3,000-mile journey to New York where my sister lived. There I experienced a brand-new fear—that I would be deported back to Mexico and the abuse I fought so hard to escape.

But last year, with Immigration Equality on my side, I won asylum!  

Today my wife, Adriana, and six-year-old son, Darien, are the center of my universe. I can’t imagine being separated from them, and thanks to Immigration Equality, I don’t have to.  

I’m lucky to say that I have another family to be grateful for this year: Immigration Equality. They provided me with a sense of community I never had before, and have been right there with me through difficult times. My holiday gift to them is to give back by sharing my story with you.

I’m excited to see the look in Darien’s eyes this holiday season when he opens the gift on the top of his list: a Marble Run Super Set. (He loves marbles just like I did!) I live for these amazing little moments—and if Immigration Equality didn’t have the resources to take my case, I wouldn’t get to experience them.

I hope my story inspires you to support their life-saving work!


Terry López
Immigration Equality client