Zaire Newsuan

I was probably about 12 when I realized that I was different. I always dressed like a boy and played basketball - you know, all of those things. I guess you could say I was a tomboy. I didn’t feel right in a woman’s body. I was adopted at a young age because my mother was sent to prison. When I was 17, I sat my adoptive family down and told them that I wanted to start taking hormones. I had already researched everything and even found a doctor. They didn’t understand, but they were very supportive. I started to transition at 17 but had to stop for health reasons. A few years later, I started transitioning again. I am, in a sense, finding myself. At first I was scared of how people were going to perceive me. But it feels amazing and I can’t wait for the day when I look in the mirror and I’m like “yep, that’s you.” I moved to Philadelphia so that I could get to know my biological family. It is kind of hard getting to know them and having to explain that I am transitioning. But my attitude is that you are either going to like me or you are not. I am not going to allow myself to be changed by anyone. I came to Y-HEP with a couple of friends and I really liked the vibe. Y-HEP is a safe space for me to talk about things that I don’t always have the opportunity to talk about. I get to be around people who are like me and who understand what I am experiencing. I also get to learn about what other people are experiencing in their lives. I have had the chance to volunteer at Y-HEP and it has made me want to volunteer at other places as well. Now, I want to be an activist, especially for trans rights. It’s exciting for me to teach people about being transgender. If I can show people that I am a normal person, it will help them become more tolerant and less judgmental. I am proud of so many things in my life. I’m proud that I graduated from college and that I’m going through with my transition. I am also proud that I’m trying to get to know my real family without being resentful towards them. This is the advice I would give to others: Don’t let your past affect your future. I’ve been through a lot of things, but if I would have let those things hinder me, I would never be where I am today.

- Zaire Newsuan

Spotlight On

Karam Mounzer, MD

Dr. Mounzer identified two major gaps in the care of patients with HIV/hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection, and the complexity of multidrug-resistant HIV treatment. He is involved with many clinical trials focusing on drug development and better understanding of HIV immunopathogenesis with the Wistar Institute. He is involved in teaching and mentoring fellows, residents and students.

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Karam Mounzer, MD

Pediatric and Adolescent Health Center

FIGHT Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Center - Dr. Mario Cruz
February 2018 – Philadelphia FIGHT will be opening a new Pediatric and Adolescent Health Center dedicated to providing high quality, comprehensive, primary care to address the physical, emotional and sexual health needs of inner-city children and youth from birth through age 24.