Hi, my name is Mulani. First and foremost, thank you for clicking on my story which means you’re one step closer to helping someone like me have a chance at success in life. Now you may be asking yourself, “Someone like her, what does that mean?” Well, let me tell you because all though I am not the only one going through the struggle, my story is definitely unique and needs to be shared. Now I don’t want to keep you all day so this will be a very brief synopsis of my past because I’m a firm believer and acknowledging your past to have a fruitful future. This is a short summary of my story, well as brief as I can possibly put it.
My life began in Detroit, Michigan spring of 1999, Wayne County. My mom and dad both were there to receive their blessing (an unexpected one). I was constantly told this story growing up of me being held by my mom and her exact first impression was, “Wow you’re so pretty. I hope you won’t be gay.” Shortly after, my mom was assaulted by my dad for even thinking of the possibility that his “son” would be a “gay.” Now, I didn’t come out to him as gay but he sure wasn’t happy when I told him he had a daughter and not a son. My father’s from the streets, and he has nine kids and I was his sixth (which can be considered a common narrative). I was the only one to come out with his green eyes. So he named me after him. I and my sister share the same birthday exactly a year apart, she is older but different fathers. All my siblings by my mom have different fathers. Most of those men acted no more than a sperm donor. Shortly after, my mom was put in jail yet again and in it out of jail she will be for the years to come.
I was shipped off to my auntie’s at the age of two in Seattle with my sister who was three, where we would live with my great auntie for the next 14-15 years of my life. Under her roof, I experienced mental and emotional abuse. So it wouldn’t come to a surprise that I had problems in school for not following directions and paying attention. Over the years living with her, I would get torn down every day feeling so low I would cry myself to sleep. I experienced sexual abuse by family members that would go unnamed. I learned at a very young age not everyone has good intentions.
At the age of 13, we moved down to Eastside Tacoma, the place where all good girls get turned out. At the age of 14, I started sex work. I was sick and tired of being broke and poor, I just wanted something for myself for once also with constantly being kicked out. I needed to be able to feed and house myself. Something that didn’t come from Goodwill or a hand me down from my cousin, who would always hold over me the fact I was given their old clothes over the years. For once I wanted to be selfish and experience the nice things.
Now not all things were bad at 14. I made some longtime friends that year. My friend who today is now my fellow trans sister Z-. Not to mention my brother from another mother T-, who is just a memory now that they died a couple weeks short of two years by suicide on the eve of Seattle pride June 23rd, 2016. I could write a whole book on how much I loved him. He was family– not by blood but something much greater; we were family by choice. You can’t pick who you share blood with but you can choose who you want around you and to integrate into one’s family. He made me want to do better to try harder. It was because of him I stopped doing sex work. He is the reason why I am pushing to go to college because of his belief in me, I can now believe in myself. So now at the age of 19, I can say he made me a better person. I got out of a terrible relationship, moved out of my abusive household and started what would be the first step of my journey to success. I’m not sad or mad about anything that I have endured in my life. I am a survivor. And like any survivor, all I want in life is to thrive and live life because through being homeless and sex work, I learned surviving is not living and today I choose to live which is why I am asking for your help.
Now, I’m not asking for help for myself but for others. I want you to go out and help someone other than yourself. Do something bigger than you because that’s when you will find your most inner joy, I know that’s where I found mine. Lastly, do one solid for me and that’s to be a beacon of light and hope for the future. Yes, I know our parents messed it up and now we are stuck here to clean it up but let me tell you a secret it is all worthwhile. Be the change you want to see and I promise you, the revolution will go viral.