Excerpted from: Regina Gazelle More Than a Woman

By Patrick Roland

Almira Enos had used meth since she was 13 years old. To get drugs, she would often prostitute herself. She was born a man, but always knew she was supposed to be a woman. Her own mother told her so. Her confused gender state fueled the chronic drug use. She often felt lost and suicidal. Enter Regina Gazelle, Echo’s Woman of the Year.

In April, Enos met Gazelle, who helped the now 26-year-old clean up and learn how to live in her own skin. Enos enrolled in Gazelle’s halfway house for transgender girls, “This Is H.O.W. (Honesty, Openmindedness, Willingness),” and today is sober and even has a job.

She credits Gazelle with her remarkable transformation.

“I don’t think I would have sobered up without Regina,” Enos said. “If it wasn’t for her and this halfway house, I don’t think I’d be here now. I know she’s always there for me.”

“Without Regina, I’d either be in prison or dead,” “This Is H.O.W.” house manager Allison Hultstrand said. “I was very volatile before I came here.”

“I never had a family that actually cared,” Annette Ellis added. “I am a lone person. I have no family except for Regina.”

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