After Struggling With Homelessness, Angela Makes a Better Life For Herself.

by Angela Louis

My name is Angela Louis, I’m from Brooklyn, NY. Ever since I was born I knew something was different. I knew I was born in the wrong body. Wanting to have a boyfriend and wanting to feel some type of belonging, I ended up meeting this guy. He lived out in Bronx, NY. Being young, I cut school and went to his house. Long story short, I didn’t get home until about 1 something in the morning. I walk in the door and Mom said, “Give me your cell phone.” Every message from my boyfriend, everything from raunchy to babe I love you, babe I miss you, she’d seen everything. My mom told me, “Let’s have a seat in the living room.” I sat. “I love you dearly but I cannot raise a child who is in this lifestyle. I will give you as much money as you want but you can’t be in this household. Good luck and have a nice life wherever you go.” Okay, dude, fine, bye I’ll come home tomorrow, it’s nothing. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way. Coming from a household, coming from your own room, with your parents and allowances to in 24 hours you’re now in a group home.

This is an all boys home, I can’t be here transitioning, so I will have to be transferred into another facility. Now mind you I’m now 18, I’m young, I want to party I want to hit the clubs but living in a group home you have to abide by curfew. And I ended up getting kicked out. I got discharged. I had a boyfriend, he was living in Atlanta. He‘s a drug dealer, he has money. But once the emotional abuse started, being that I don’t have anything and you’re supporting me, if you want to have sex and I decline, it was an issue, get out. You have me in Atlanta and I have no family in Atlanta. I’m 18 and I only have a high school ID. And as I was walking towards the front door, “Oh no, bitch, I want to see you jump off the balcony.” I guess I wanted to just get out and I just gave up. When I jumped off the 2nd floor balcony, here I am and I left everything. That’s when I started to escort.

One night I will never forget, I got into a car and the guy was fidgety, he was so uncomfortable, and he pulled up into the gas station. I guess the cop was just there and decided to run his license plates. The cop was like get out of the car so I got out of the car. He said just so you know this man has a warrant out for his arrest. He had a rap sheet. Assault, rape, battery, and it continued. He said do you not know if you went with this man you would not have come back. Turn around, walk away, don’t look back.

I went back to my friends house, stayed with him a couple weeks. One of his friends who said Angela if you want to go back home, I can get you back home. He said you’re beautiful, go to New York, follow your dreams, and he gave me a pack of cigarettes and ten bucks. And I came to New York.

It came to a point where I wanted to commit suicide. I told one of my friends and one of my friends told my counselor. They put restraints on me. I remember I was at Kings County Mental Ward and my counselor said I’m doing this to help you. Because if you want to kill yourself I’m going to show you what it really means to be depressed and to feel love. She said you don’t want to be here like them, you don’t want to be on psych pills. I could sign you out to go home today because there’s nothing wrong with you but I’m not gonna sign you out, I’m going to let you sit here for the weekend.

I was always told, you will never graduate, you’re a faggot. And I got my diploma, I went home and rang the doorbell. Mom said hey how are you? I said everything is good, but someone said for me to deliver this to you. She said, wow you did it. I said, yeah I did.

Just always getting up and saying you know what Angela? Everything’s going to be okay. And I used to say that all the time. Everything’s going to be okay, I’m going to be fine, and people would see me and be like Oh well, you’re fine.

My mom passed away. Being at the hospital with my mom every single night, we talked and we had our good times and I just you know spoke to her. And she’s Mom. I’m smart, I am talented, I am loyal, I am independent, those are all traits that I got from her.

Live your life. Live. If you’re kicked out, so what. There are numerous places to go. Ali Forney Center, Covenant House, Independence Living, they will help you. But at the end of the day you have to find yourself. No matter where you come from, you can always change that and make something better of yourself.

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