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Transgender in New York(12 images)

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  • Lost in the dark, Lady K dances with himself.  Beads of light illuminate body parts of that of a woman.  Men flock to his every need.  He is intimate  with primarily gay men but he says he prefers straight me.  "I just wish they would accept me for who I really am.  A real woman."
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  • The shelter curfew has now passed and Lady K is forced to scale a fence to reach a fire escape leading to a vacant apartment. He breaks the window to gain access and returns to open up the door for Tim and Jasmina.
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  • Nearly 42% of the 1.6 million homeless youth in America fall under the category of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.  In New York City, this number seems to be more concentrated along with the problems this demographic faces.  These homeless teens didn't lose their homes due to cutbacks or lay-offs.  Most were kicked out by their parents upon learning of their sexuality.  Lady K, 17, was born with a penis. This is his first year living on the streets, in and out of shelters...---------.."James is my real name, but I have chosen to forget all of that."  Lady K defines himself as a woman.  He fled the cruelty of his family for the streets of New York City a year ago.  He does whatever he can to survive, often turning to prostitution just to have a warm bed to sleep in for the night.
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  • Lady K and his girls do a last minute makeup check at the subway station.  He spends most of his nights sneaking into bars and clubs getting other men to pay for drinks and food. They often stay out long past shelter curfews and are forced to go home with strangers rather than spend the night on the street.
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  • In the homeless shelter, Lady K commands attention.  He is the most convincing woman of the bunch.  The rest of the transgender men follow him down dark paths.
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  • Looking into the reflection he says he's never happy with his appearance. He hates his penis.  The hormone injections he takes has left it in a sexually paralyzed state. "I want to just cut it off."
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  • Black, a bully at the shelter, is forceful with Lady K. He often makes sexually demanding remarks to him.  Lady K plays the role but admits he just wants to run when he sees him.
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  • Lady K grinds up against a random guy he met at a gay club in New York city. After several drinks he finally went home with a different guy offering a warm bed for the night.
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  • Lady K barely notices his boyfriend Tim as he and Jasmina touch up their makeup while riding the subway to escape the cold.  Tim longs for a serious relationship with Lady K but doesn't have the money to offer him the lifestyle he wants.  Tim is forced to watch from the sidelines as Lady K goes home with random men.
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  • Lady K embraces Ramone after hearing that their friend was jumped in an apparent hate crime and is now in the hospital.  Many youth escape the brutality of their families only to face something much worse on the streets.  Gay homeless youth are often beat up for the sexuality. There have been several murders that remain unsolved.
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  • Lady K shaves in the kitchen sink of the homeless shelter.  "I hate people seeing me this way. This is not who I am."
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  • Jasmina trys to comfort Tim who has been shaking and crying while sleeping on the floor of an abandoned apartment. Lady K finally apologizes to Tim for ignoring him the entire night.  The three share a painting drop cloth they found as a blanket.  It is still very cold.  "I'm tired of this life," Tim said. "I want more."
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