My chosen name is Rani. It’s the Indian word for queen. My ex-boyfriend who I met while I was working at the strip club called me that. He said it was because I reminded of royalty.

The name just stuck.

I’ve only been homeless since Halloween. I came to Atlanta because I was told that it was the land of opportunities.

My neighborhood in Florida wasn’t safe. I was plagued by violence. Home invasions. Watching my pregnant cousin and her five kids get hurt.

Then, they closed the strip club because of a shooting.

Someone told me how I could get some money. It involved illegal things. I won’t tell you what but you can imagine what I was up to. I did that until I could save enough money to come to Georgia. It couldn’t be any worse than what was going on in Florida. I thought it would hold a future.

It was almost worse than where I was. Within days of being here, I was robbed and had everything taken from me. As I hit rock bottom, I found LNFY. They’re helping me get my act together.

What do I want for the future? Funny you should ask.

I was born and raised in the hood. That’s the life I know. I also know that people are expected to be a certain kind of way. Only real women sell drugs. Only straight men hold guns.

I want the world to know that we can be just as tough as any hood person, regardless of sexuality.

I want to let it be known what I would tell the next homeless trans girl I met.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’re not alone. Never forget that.

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