By Liana Jacob
MEET THE loved-up woman who married the love of her life after STALKING HIM for a YEAR before they met and have been together for six years ever since.
In July 2012, manager, Valeria Garza (22) first met registered behaviour technician, Liam Garza (23) from Texas, USA, when he worked as a waiter at Buffalo Wild Wings, and she became smitten with him, despite him not knowing who she was.
Liam, who is a transgender man, had not transitioned at the time, and Valeria’s family had no knowledge that she liked women at the time. Liam, who was Silvia at the time, was a mutual friend of Valeria’s sister’s friend, who had introduced them.
Valeria had already developed a crush after seeing a photo of Silvia looking like Justin Bieber and she was instantly attracted. For six months to a year, Valeria would ‘stalk’ Silvia at the place they worked as well as using social media to get close to them.
It wasn’t until she tagged Silvia on Twitter with a hashtag ‘tag your cutest follower’, that they began messaging her and they developed mutual feelings for each other.
In January 2016, they both got married despite their families struggling to accept their sexuality and in 2017, they went through another relationship test when Liam came out as transgender. Valeria now says that this has brought them closer and they couldn’t be happier.
“I would stalk him when we were younger. At the time, my family didn’t know I liked girls and my sister was only allowed to go out with her friends if she took me with her, so the usual Friday night was movies and dinner,” Valeria said.
“I knew he played football in high school; one night I remember trying to go to a game where his school played. I practically had to clean the whole house only to go and not even see him.
“I could never try to get his attention in person, he would make me so nervous; I mean he still does. Every time I thought I was ready to make a move I would see him and freeze dead in my tracks.
“One night when we walked into Buffalo Wild Wings (BWW), my sister’s friend stopped to say hi to someone and I am very nosey, so I turned around to see who she was talking to – and it was Silvia.
“Now, at this point I had already sort of had a crush on her; I’d seen this picture of her where she looked very much like Justin Bieber and I was instantly attracted to her.
“That night I followed her on Twitter, but she didn’t follow me back for another three months or so. I didn’t have it in me to direct message her or mention her in a tweet so I just waited for every Friday so I could go get a slight glimpse of her at work.
“Although there was one time, I got brave and mentioned her; it was a silly hashtag around the lines of #tagyourcutestfollowers – she didn’t follow me but I had to mention her.
“She didn’t acknowledge my tweet either, but it was fine. When I saw her, I couldn’t talk to her, I never even said hi, I would be so nervous that I would just look and keep walking.
“Every time my sister’s friends would want to go somewhere else I would insist we would go to BWW.
“Silvia had no idea who I was, she would never look at me until one day she and Jen were hanging out and I am not sure what happened, but she finally followed me back.
“We began talking on Twitter, exchanged numbers and we finally ended up meeting up and it was instant love.
“I was with my cousin who also didn’t know I liked girls but that night I didn’t care who saw us, I didn’t care about anything actually, all I could think about was her.
“We danced and laughed all night. We ended up eating McDonald’s at one in the morning and I remember ordering and while everyone else got one item, there was me, ordering a whole meal and ice cream.
“I have never felt the need to hide who I am which is probably one of my favourite things about us.”
Despite the fireworks she felt when she was with him, Valeria admits that the pressure of having to hide their relationship initially made their relationship quite difficult.
Neither of their families knew about their sexuality at the time and were very against it when they found out and while Valeria’s family learned to accept Liam, his family weren’t as easy to win over. Liam was kicked out of his home when his family found out.
Despite the rocky patches, they beat the odds and while Valeria struggled with him coming out as transgender at first, she now says that they couldn’t be happier.
“We had a very rough beginning as we were young and I wasn’t ready to settle down, but he was very persistent and always showed me that he loved me in a different way than I have ever been loved,” Valeria said.
“Neither one of our family knew we were lesbians, let alone dating. After a while we decided to tell both our families and while my family wasn’t okay with, it they’ve supported us from the moment they’ve known about us.
“On the other hand, it’s been the complete opposite on his side but that has only made us grow as humans, as husband and wife and as a family.
“When Liam told his mum about us, she kicked him out and she hasn’t talked to him since. His dad on the other hand is really supportive and talks to us every day and helps us in anything we need.
“Liam only has his dad and a couple of cousins by his side because everyone else has just shut him out due to his choices of being with a woman.
“I think the most difficult thing has been when Liam first started transitioning. It was something very new to us.
“He was becoming, I wouldn’t say ‘someone new’, but he was on his journey of finding his true self and for once that was something that I couldn’t really help him with.
“I feel like we had sort of become distant with each other for a little bit. We were so used to doing everything together and this was something he had to do by himself.
“We both now like to say that we both have transitioned; I am not the same person I was a year ago. Now we have overcome our problems by sitting down and actually talking to each other not just walking away.
“Now I feel it has affected our relationship for the better. Since he is so much more comfortable now, he has become a lot more outspoken and it has helped our relationship really truly bloom into something so beautiful.”
Since they have got married, Valeria says she feels like a princess and that they can now conquer any obstacle they are faced with.
“I feel like my dream of being a princess has come true; he treats me like such a princess and makes me so happy. I would not have it any other way,” she said.
“We never give up on us; no matter what life throws at us I know we will overcome it. There are so many plans for the future. One would be kids, four for sure. We want a big family.
“We are human; we bleed, we breathe, we cry, we laugh and we love just like everyone else. We love each other unconditionally and even though some things aren’t as easy for us as for ‘straight couples’ we still make it work every day. We are no different.”