...text to tell the story of Jimmy Sullivan, who chose to live as a gay man in recovery with the help of therapists and a twelve-step program after a brutal gay bashing that occurred in Boston when he was Shelley, a drug-using, drug-selling prostitute.

     Jimmy, in his early sixties when the video was made, speaks with humor, panache and considerable emotion about his early life at home with abusive parents, turning tricks when he was still in high school, extensive use of drugs and later changing his appearance through hormones and silicone injections into that of a woman during a time when the gay bar scene thrived in the Combat Zone. 

     The gay bashing occurred in the early 80s when Shelly was brutally attacked by a young guy who’d driven his mother’s van into Boston to beat up a ‘fag.’ Though still slightly affected by brain damage caused by that traumatic incident, he speaks about weeks in a coma, the efforts the surgeon made to literally pull his brain back into shape, close the skull and repair his face, the long hospitalization, a caring staff, and extensive work with therapists who helped him recover ability to speak, reason and negotiate daily tasks. The next therapist asked whether he was ready to transition back to an identity as a gay man and start the real work of moving toward recovery from addiction.