Well, that’s why I left Miami. Nobody understood me there. In New York, it was different. You could be who you wanted to be and get away with it. They loved it – the more unique, the better.
When I first came to New York, I was living as a woman. I lived with a guy in Brooklyn who was in love with me but he was basically straight, so he wanted me to get a sex change. I was in love and I wanted to please him but I was also very young, about 18. When he had the money, $3,500, and the time came to get the operation, I went to my appointment at the clinic. I thought: ‘Wait a minute. This is a big step. And if you make it, you cannot come back.’ So I changed my mind and just went shopping at Saks on Fifth Avenue.
I bought fabulous things. At the time, $3,500 bought you a lot. Nowadays, it would only get you a couple of pairs of shoes.
I knew I wasn’t a woman – I mean, c’mon, all I had to do was look down when I was in the shower. But I knew I wasn’t a man either. I was trapped in between. That’s why I seriously thought about the sex change for a while. I thought it would be liberating. But then I thought, inside myself, I still knew what I was – and in New York, I could get away with being Holly and not change my sex.