Eunique: My name is Eunique
BW: That’s… unique. How’d you get that name?
Eunique: My friend used to tell me that I had a unique aura about myself. I used to do things out of the ordinary and I know I’m different from a lot of folks, so that’s why I came up with the name Unique.
I’m originally from Chicago, Illinois. I’m the middle child of 9. I became a transsexual at the age of 13 or 14. Going to school was hard because I had to fight all the time. I was always suspended. My father never approved of me being the woman that I am. So, I got emancipated at the age of 16. It was basically my father’s idea. He didn’t want my younger siblings to think it was OK for them to be like me, a transsexual or that it was OK to date the same sex.
When I was younger I used to try on my sister’s clothing. I used to get beat, you know, a whooping for that. If I was hanging around with my sister and playing Barbie dolls, and makeup and stuff like that, I’d get a whooping for that. And I was like… I’m being me.
My mom tried to be supportive and wanted me to feel comfortable in my skin but I felt like I didn’t belong in my house in a way. My father would call me names and my brothers would take suit and follow and it really hurt me. It made me think about suicide and hurting my family.
BW: What was it like being punished for being yourself?
Eunique: How would I feel? You are just acting like yourself and you get a Goddamn whooping? Of course it’s gonna make you feel like you don’t belong. They called me faggot and I’d cry at night. My dad would come in my room and say, “Shut up sissy, you supposed to be a man. You aint supposed to be crying.”
It just made me want to be me even more.
They sent me to a group home named Saint Joe’s for kids in Minnesota because I didn’t want to dress like a man in their house. That’s when I really felt like I didn’t have a family.
Before my father passed, we had talks. He asked me why I wanted to do this. I told him, “I know God don’t make no mistakes and I believe that God made me this way.” He just shook his head and said, “Jehovah did not make you this way.” I said, “Well, it’s genetics.” He said, “ So, what are you saying?” I reminded him that he was a beautician and my grandfather was a beautician. He ended that conversation quick.
He did say, “I love you know matter what you do in your life,” and he apologized for the things he said and did to me when I was younger.