Baton Rouge, LA

Ariana: I'm a woman. A beautiful, transgender, woman. 

BW: When did you first come out?

Ariana: 13. I'm very blunt and honest and I think at that time in my life I was doing anything I could just to shock, and piss off my mom, so something like that was killing two birds with one stone. I could have cared less what anyone thought of me. The only two opinions that even somewhat mattered was my mom and my dad. Mind you, they could think whatever they want. It wasn't going to affect what I wanted. But they were completely supportive.

BW: When did you first start dressing?

Ariana: When I was just a kid I'd wear my sister's shoes and clothes and stuff, but like really dressing, I was in high school. I'd wear my makeup and everything. I looked a hot mess, but I thought I was fabulous.

BW: Did anyone mess with you about it?

Ariana: No, surprisingly I was really popular at my school. I get along with people. I'm really funny so they just loved it. I always hung out with straight boys.

BW: What's the hardest part about being a trans woman?

Ariana: Probably the dating aspect. Luckily, knock on wood, I don't deal with a lot of discrimination, or anything like that, but the dating part is definitely... it just takes a toll on you; your self worth; everything.

BW: How?

Ariana: Like, you could sit there and tell me, Ariana, you're so beautiful, but is that all  that you see when you're with me? That's it? 

I've never had a man say, "Ariana, I want to be with you. You're the one I want to be with."  I think that when people meet me, or when they see me, they already have this fantasy of what they want, and then when it becomes like a real thing, it's not what they want.  I feel like all I am to these men is just this fantasy. Like you think of Jenna Jameson, OK. Everyone wanted to fuck Jenna Jameson, but not many people want to date or marry Jenna Jameson.

I used to be quite the harlot. I met this guy three years ago and he just wanted to hook up.  So we did and a few months later we hooked up again, but he was just such an asshole. He had a girlfriend and kids and all this stuff.

 Like a year ago he gets in contact with me and wants to come see me. His whole personality had changed. He was a totally different person. He kept telling me that he had these feelings for me. At first I didn't want to do it. A day or two later I was like, you know what, I'm always thinking about how what I do is going to affect others in these situations. I just wanted to do this and enjoy it.  

I had initially told him, you're not going to leave your family for me. I don't think I'm worth that, but he would always say, "You never know what's gonna happen." I was like, that's bullshit, I know what's gonna happen. 

We kept seeing each other. We'd hangout, cuddle, cook, whatever. Then his girlfriend saw the text messages between me and him. 

Well... he said if his girlfriend called, to answer and tell her that I had been helping him look for an engagement ring for her. As if it couldn't get any worse, now I felt like I had pushed him into this false engagement with this person who he was allegedly miserable with. How could he ask me to do something like that? It affected me. 

Part of these collections: Coming Out