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The Wild, Wild West Years

My Story: The BeautifulUgly Girl

Are any of you “old school” in terms of transgender life? If so - you’ll perhaps totally relate to this phase of my life - back in the time when “tranny nightclubs” were the hotbed of transgender lifestyle and connectivity.

Some of my best & worst memories are from a phase I recall as “the wild, wild west years”. That was the period when I was a reigning diva amongst Atlanta’s once vibrant 24-7 alternative nightclub & social scene. Mine was an exhausting habit of trying everything at least once: sometimes more often. How I survived without
getting killed, locked down, or contracting HIV, Hepatitis-C, or Herpes? That remains a modern miracle of luck, impossible venereal sciences & chance probability.

At the core? I wanted to be a girl. However, at that time? I felt I was never going to be able to accomplish that goal. Thus, I lived a life where I frustratingly pushed unhealthy boundaries: committing social suicide of sorts. I lived a lifestyle with no real intention of long-term survival.

Wild, Wild Renee

If and when things didn’t work out? I planned to leave – my comfort definition for self-termination: aka: suicide. I studied options in this regard & specifically planned my exit on more than one occasion. It’s not something I wanted to do but a vista I didn’t fear. I surmised everyone dies: might as well go out on my own terms. Now that I’m much healthier, I’m saddened I once seriously considered that.

Fortunately, I eventually embraced the idea that if “I’m still around”? It means I have more to do here on earth. I sure hope my life is never defined by the manner of my death. I would much prefer recollections about the unique way I lived.

I’m at that age where I’m losing friends & acquaintances to death as often as I’m making new associations. Thus, I’m constantly reminded that my journey is probably closer to the end than beginning. Honestly? I don’t expect to live into my twilight. My existence was once crazy and I was a kinda’ "tough on the furniture": heavy smoking, drinking, days without sleep and of course, lots of drugs (I did enough drugs to kill a small pony)
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There are times from my era of “using” I’ll never recall. In those days? Dealers would come around our world offering free drugs or invites to parties with mounds of cocaine - just to hang out or fondle. Unfortunately, I rarely turned down offers that included party favors.

In the old days of transgender expression? It was much more of an underground society. The clubs were rank, the crowds were problematic & drugs were everywhere. Know what else? It was fun! It was ironically very close-knit. A paradox was how “safe” I was within that realm. To an outsider? The seedy environments & scruffy-looking patrons might appear scary. However, this was my world - everybody had my back & that favor was returned.

Fortunately, I wasn’t attractive enough to make a career of prostitution or “tranny porn”. Both these vistas or a lifetime as a DRAG performer were once common economic traps for lovely transgender women. By doing so, they lost touch with a work history (an essential requisite to securing a good job), got stuck with negative imagery that almost never “goes away” - and failed to file tax returns for ions - making mainstream employment problematic. It still appears an easier, lazier option for some stunning transgender women but the eventual cost is overwhelming.

I still occasionally encounter old friends or photos that recall a particular wild night from when I was using and sky-high: zero recollection. That is not cool.

Fun Memories

Although there’s lots of instances I don’t recall from this era, I do treasure fun memories, including:

The “Long Ride Home” Photo Shoots
I used to wait until the sun rose in order to drive hime after the cops were no longer chasing drunk drivers. One day, I stopped off to repair a loose coffee lid & ended up noticing a brick retaining wall in an office parking lot I felt would offer a perfect backdrop for a photo shoot. With camera in hand, I proceeded to snap off fun photos & thus began a new habit of shooting pictures after my “nights on the town” at various spots along my drive home to the suburbs.
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Additionally, I would continue shooting photos on my back deck after returning home. Alas, I was usually still full of drugs - couldn’t sleep if I wanted.

I’m now producing an art-photo series from this era entitled: “A Georgia Wildlife” recalling adventures from an artistic standpoint. What a crazy time that was! Not something I want to re-live but not something I regret. Rather, it’s just part of a bigger picture of life experiences known as me.
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One hilarious recollection was when I worked as a stage performer at a BDSM-themed club in Atlanta. Long story short? Somebody stole my wallet & house keys but I didn’t realize that until a cab was dropping me at my house. I had to get my next door neighbor’s help paying the cab & getting into my locked domicile. He was totally cool - knew all about me - but I thought his girlfriend (who first answered my knock at their door) was going to faint when she saw this seven foot tall creature in a dominatrix diva outfit at their sill. Needless to say, my bizarre lifestyle was fodder of the neighborhood subdivision for weeks to come.
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End of an Era

I’m lucky: I survived this bout of unhealthy living & acting-out without acquiring any life-long STD’s or getting locked up with a felony arrest record. Saw lots of things: religious hypocrisy, political corruption, lies - you name it. I also witnessed beauty from hardened types where you would least expect.

There’s basically nothing I didn’t do during this phase: no sin uncommitted: guilty as charged! I’m not proud of some things. I never want to repeat those unhealthy patterns. However, I’m also not ashamed to admit those debaucheries. They will forever affect how I see the world around me - and thus, are an important part of me.

Eventually, I sought therapy to heal emotional scars that were the root of my unhealthy patterns following a horrid attack by a sexual psychopath. I worked at my therapy: for the first time in my life I wanted to get better. The most essential key to recovery is a
desire to heal. I once carried lots of anger & a quick temper. Now? I’m more well known for how rarely I’m rattled.

Everybody survives chapters of life they would prefer never happened, know what I mean? I had three such phases: when I was very young & my father perped on me & my sister; when I was attacked & sodomized by a psychopath plus the early destitute phases of my gender transition.

I’m really hoping I don’t face similar monuments in my future: they sucked!