“Growing up, boys and men never did the right thing. Maybe if they spent more time as girls, you wouldn’t see that. And we’d all be better!”
The historic issues of African-American families seems to have no answer. Boys and men abandoning their women, often leaving behind young mothers totally dependent on other women, such as grandmothers, aunts, and friends. The welfare state continues unabated. And what life for those males who do flee? Drugs, crime, and the threat to their very existence.
Harris Leland barely knew his son Derrick, as he was 44 and had been in prison mostly over the last three decades. Derrick’s momma died from diabetes, and his older cousin was helpless to watch him fall into the gang culture, and paralyzed in fear and guilt as Derrick raped while high on crystal meth. The horror of watch Derrick’s son Ashton struggle with genetic disorders led to an unfortunate suicide of the birth mother. Poverty’s cycle churned on. Until Harris stepped in.
Freshly out on parole and in tears over his family’s tragedy, 3G helped Harris cope with a long standing, unaddressed secret: his transexuality. 3G helped Harris – rechristened Helena - get the treatment she needed to live life as the woman she never dreamed she could be. 3G’s counselors then petitioned the orphan’s court to allow Helena custody of her grandchild. The fact that Ashton was the offspring of two first cousins left him without the glands necessary to produce testosterone, so Helena chose to raise her as a granddaughter, and so, Anastasia would bond with Helena in the way not possible before.
Her heart filled with joy, but aching at the issue of Anastasia never knowing her birth mother, and not being able to relate to her misogynist father Derrick, 3G helped locate and rehabilitate Derrick after he was left for dead following a drug deal went bad. Derrick spat at Helena, believing that he was better as a dead gangster than the outrageously feminine role 3G was suggesting. However, on Easter Sunday, a sober and repentant Derrick checked himself into the facility.
Five years later, Daniela Leland posed for this family portrait with her baby girl and oh so happy mother. Daniela even found herself being wooed by some well off gentlemen, and even Helena wanted to pursue some romance. After all, they had to show a good example for Anastasia!