NMAC’s Newest Voice – How Marissa Miller Makes Change

After a 10-hour drive and saying farewell to my beloved Midwest, I have found myself in Washington, DC. A year ago, this wasn’t my plan, but I have learned to listen to the universe and she told me to step into a new tomorrow. After all, for nearly 28 years I have spoken out as a voice in the Transgender communities, specifically Communities of Color, in Indianapolis, Chicago, and other spaces .

Being HIV-positive, Transgender, and Black has qualified me to have a voice. I believed, whether I understood it or not, from the very beginning that there was a very distinct need for my voice, and I was ready to use it.  A voice is a source of strength that can move others to make change…A VOICE so powerful…A VOICE so transparent…A VOICE so necessary…A VOICE not belonging to just me, but belonging to my people! As an advocate, I have often been mistakenly branded as angry. Yes, it was ANGER that fueled that initial Voice, but today PASSION and LOVE for my community is what now carries this voice.

I am thankful to the universe that my journey from anger to passion and love have positioned me as the first Transgender person on NMAC’s staff.  And not just a Transgender person, but a Transgender Woman of Color. Like with the first of anything, many eyes in both the HIV and transgender community will be paying attention.

Again, my focus at NMAC is not on me, the Transgender Woman of Color living with HIV. I came to NMAC to be a change agent and to work with other leaders as Program Coordinator in the Division of Leadership Pipeline. I am coming to support trailblazing opportunities for our community. I am coming to create additional collaborative partnerships in the fight to end HIV.

And I am coming to help NMAC fulfill its mission.