Maria Louise Roman has been a leader in social services for the transgender community in Los Angeles for over 19 years. Maria is a 46 year old Puerto Rican Latina Woman who began her journey to self-discovery at age 19. Many doors would close in her path, but she was driven and determined to succeed. With this decision came empowerment and hardship. She has survived life on the streets and has overcome many of the issues her community continues to fight today. She has become an outspoken voice, an activist and a role model to the Transgender community.
Maria Roman was the first transgender to become Program Manager for Transgeneros Unidas prevention program at Bienestar Human Services, one of the largest HIV prevention programs in the nation with an all transgender staff.
Over the years Maria has been part of and volunteered for endless organizations and groups, including board member of the Liberty Hill Foundation, Los Angeles and West Hollywood Task Force, West Hollywood Transgender Advisory Committee, Los Angeles and West Hollywood Police Department Sensitivity Training Program. Among her many advocacy roles, Maria was a keynote speaker in front of the Los Angeles PPC asking for more funding for transgender specific programming, a presenter at the U.S. Conference on AIDS and a presenter at Creating Change 2015.
Maria has continued to have her feet on the ground, staying humble and not forgetting where she came from, taking any opportunity to influence change with her presence advocating for the women that continue to walk the streets with broken spirits and shattered dreams. She recently served 4 years as a Los Angeles County HIV Commissioner and is a California Certified Addiction specialist and works at APAIT as a Housing Specialist providing critical housing services for individuals living with HIV/AIDS.