So I’ve been in Los Angeles, California for 3 weeks and 5 days. A lot has happened. I know I gave a short brief description on why I was moving and it seemed like a pretty short post. Sorry about that, but you have to understand I was on the bus at the time and I couldn’t concentrate worth squat! Even as I write this post, I may not finish it completely because I only have so much time. So I will do my best. I love my readers and my followers and thankyou for bearing with me.
So yeah, I took the bus from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Los Angeles, California. It was a 2 day and six-hour trip. I rode the Greyhound bus and we stopped many stops including Chicago, Phoenix, Santa Fe (New Mexico), and many others. I think the best stop was at Oklahoma City because that was when I got out of the bus to stretch and realized I could take my winter jacket off because it was warm weather there (lol……Fuck Michigan weather). It was a fun trip and I did a lot of sleeping and personal reflection. I couldn’t believe I had moved and that I was actually throwing myself to the lions. I felt brave and like I had a major change that was needed in my life. I was pursuing my dreams and I was letting go of everything and leaving my past behind and moving miles away where I would possibly be alone for weeks at a time.
So I showed up at the bus station Sunday afternoon, 330pm. I was scared and didn’t know where to go. A guy named Andy was supposed to pick me up and show me around and then take me to a homeless shelter nearby. He didn’t and I was stuck at Greyhound for about two hours just crying and scared. I had no clue where to go and I was frightened. I knew I was in the middle of downtown and close to Skid Row (Which is 100% unsafe and sick). So, after 2 hours I headed over to the McDonald’s just nearby to use the wi-fi there. I sat there for an hour hitting up the gay men there desperately asking for a ride to the nearest shelter and to be shown around. I got no replies. Then I got this strange text. It read “Hey dude, it’s me, Angel. I am out downtown and was wondering if you needed any help? Let me know”. I done freaked out and told this strange guy named “Angel” everything. He told me to sit tight and that he’d be there in 15 minutes.
30 minutes passed and I was worried he had forgotten. I was highly uncomfortable at this time to leave because by then it was 7pm and the sun had set and it was dark out. I saw the homeless man standing outside begging for money and when he saw that I had $20 he asked me for it and I told him no (Wasn’t it enough I looked homeless myself because I had so many bags next to me!? Obviously not. Or he seriously was mentally challenged). Once I told him no he kept walking back and forth around the building. I couldn’t help but think that he would jump me the minute I left the building. So I stay put still petrified. Well, 45 minutes late, Angel showed up with a woman by his side (which I learned later on was Erika) and asked if I was Jonathan. I said yes and he asked how long I had been sitting there for. I told him 3 hours and he asked me where I was from. I then told him my story and he told me to get my stuff and to hop in the car with him.
We rode all the way to his friend’s house. She seemed nice and I thought they were a couple. As soon as we got to their house, Angel explained to me he was gay and that the girl was his best friend, Erica. He then proceeded to tell me he had some errands to run, but that he would be right back to show me around town. I was ok with it because Erica seemed nice and I was also introduced to Brooke, who was her room-mate. So as Angel went to run his errands I talked to Erica. I found out that she herself was Andrew Christian’s Photographer and a professional photographer. As Brooke was a professional wedding planner. I loved these girls. They seemed really chill and they listened to my story and felt Very optimistic for me.
Angel returned and we then proceeded to take a tour of “Korea Town” near downtown Los Angeles. Angel told me probably the best place I could crash at for that night was at the library (The Filipe Denave Branch…or something like that) and also showed me where to get a month bus pass. We all stopped at a sushi shop for dinner and talked a little more and then we returned to the house. Erica decided to put on “The Little Mermaid” and we watched that half way through. Then I decided it was time for me to leave. So Angel and I took a few of my bags and he walked me to the library. He wanted to have sex with me because he gave me that look and asked if there was anything else he could do for me. I wasn’t thinking on the same term and just said no.
So there I had it! I slept on the sidewalk at the library that night and that was the way it was for the next 7 days for me. I didn’t mind it at all because I was free to do whatever I wanted for that day and I could leave my sleeping bag at the same place and it wouldn’t disappear. I discovered West Hollywood within the next three days. I also Visited Santa Monica Pier/Beach and I also took my first subway train. I was having fun!! I also was very enthusiastic when I discovered West Hollywood (Or WeHo) and the Lesbian And Gay Youth Center on Highland. I knew that this was where I belonged because I could once more feel comfortable cross dressing and being feminine if I wanted. I’ve got to say I loved my first week in Hollywood because I discovered a lot and I also became quite confident that this is where I belong.
Then week two rolled along. My life quickly changed. I was hanging out in WeHo on Sunday afternoon and put an ad on Craigslist looking for sex because I was horny. Well, this guy by the name of Dan emailed me back and asked if I could host. I told him no. I think he got suspicious so he started asking where I was staying at. I first lied to him saying I had an apartment downtown, but then I ended up telling the real truth. He freaked out and told me he had help coming to get me. I was like ok. Next thing you know A place called “Covenant House California” came up and picked me up. They asked me questions and gave me dinner. Then they gave me a bed for the night and told me to see Outreach in the morning to get a permanent bed in the program for 90 days.
The next day I saw outreach and did a bunch of paperwork. They had to call my mom and confirm I wasn’t welcome back home in Pennsylvania. We had to wait three hours. My mom called back and in an angry voice said I wasn’t welcome back. Supposively she also gave the reasons why, which we all know. I was a little emotionally upset over this the next few days, but got over it. So we did the paperwork and got me into a bed for 90 days.
So that’s where I have been the past two weeks. Been living in this homeless shelter just chilling, looking for jobs, and other things. I’ve made a couple of lesbian friends. And I may not like it here, but at least i get to take two showers, do my laundry (free), and eat 3 meals a day. Plus, I have a case manager that meets me everyday and we discuss my career options and what to do that day. Plus I have free access to health services.
Well, got to go but will write later. Bye.
-Jonathan S Fisher