“I kept running from God. He was constantly sending people to me, giving me signs, things were happening around me. I was constantly missing a drive-by shooting or something just happened right before I came. And it was like I just didn’t get it because I was so high. I was so intoxicated all the time.”
For 20 years, Nichol was a lesbian and transgender man. Back then, she went by the name Esco in the clubs and streets of Los Angeles where she was known for partying, violence and drug dealing. “I had, what they call street creds. I had people that would do things for me. It was a lot of a power trip and a mindset that I had, kind of like a alter ego.” It seemed to help her leave behind the rejection she once felt. Nichol says she was five years old, when a family member began to rape her. The abuse continued for three years. “He would use torture tactics as a way to get me not to disclose the abuse and it altered my personality and so, I was kind of like, withdrawn.”
When she was 8 years old, her mother became a Christian and started taking her to church. Nichol was baptized and as she grew up, church became her outlet—and an environment where she was nurtured and mentored. But during her senior year in high school, Nichol says she was involved in a conflict with a few members from the congregation that she had once admired.
“I didn’t want anything to do with church after that situation. I was looking up to leaders at a certain standard and putting them on a pedestal that I should have been more focused on God. But, I didn’t have a relationship that was so solidified like that.”
So, after graduation, she looked for love and acceptance in other places.
“I went to meet a young man on a party line and there was a lesbian girl over there who lived just like a man. So, she was transgender, and I’d mistaken her for being the guy that I was going to meet. And the guy that I went to meet, there was absolutely no love connection…So, she was so nice. She was telling me about a club in Hollywood and she invited me to go to this lesbian club and I took her up on the offer. And when I went to the club, it allured me. It was like lights, camera, action. There were celebrities there. And it just drew me in because homosexuality is camouflaged as acceptance.”
Within three months time, in 1995, she dropped out of college and began embracing a new masculine identity and same-sex relationships.
Nicole who shared her story with CBN said, “I was always very insecure about my body. I didn’t have curves. It looked easier for me to fit in not being physically developed. Within three months I shaved off my hair. I shoved all my women’s clothes off into the corner I just wanted to just fit in with this new crowd of people. By the time I was 19, I was smoking weed. That led to drinking. Drinking led to trying lines of cocaine. I began to get my own hustle and by the time I was maybe 20, I was considered the dope man.”
But in the eyes of her mother Yvette, she was a daughter that needed unconditional love and fervent prayer. “Because I knew she was out there doing drugs. I knew she was drinking. So when I would see her come, I would be so grateful to God that she came home on one piece. And when she would get in the house, I would take advantage of that moment and take blessed oil and put it on my hands and just rub her down with oil. And I would command Satan to loose his hold on my child,” said Nichol’s mother Yvette.
“I kept running from God. He was constantly sending people to me, giving me signs, things were happening around me. I was constantly missing a drive-by shooting or something just happened right before I came. And it was like I just didn’t get it because I was so high. I was so intoxicated all the time,” said Nichol.
On a Saturday in 2014, Nichol’s fear became reality. During a fight over drug money a man attacked her from behind with a hammer. It was caught on cell phone video and shared on social media. “The impact of that hammer, clobbering me on top of my head was so hard I thought a car jumped the curb and hit me. Miraculously I got up off the concrete with no injury.”
Thankful to be alive, Nichol returned to her childhood church the next day. “I went down the aisle. I got down to the altar to ask for prayer, and I just begin to break down and cry out to the Lord and ask Him to forgive me. It was just so much turmoil in that lifestyle. It was never any peace. And I was lacking the peace that I once had, that relationship with my Heavenly Father that I was gravitating back toward. All the self-guilt, the condemnation, all of the rejection that I experienced, the Lord began to heal those hurts.”
Nichol says she is completely delivered, but her transformation didn’t happen overnight. First, she started attending church and counseling. Then months of prayer and fasting…“Because some things only come out through prayer and fasting. I went back to my first love, which is Jesus Christ and I began to hunger and thirst after His righteousness. And He began to fill my cup and-and build up my self-esteem and my confidence and make me feel good about myself.”
Nichols mother Yvette, witnessed her daughter’s transformation. “God has changed her, her heart, her appearance, her mindset. She’s preaching the gospel. I would say to that parent, don’t ever give up. I would say to that parent to get on your knees and pray to God because God is the only one that can change a person’s life.”
And Nichol says she’s proof that the power of prayer prevails. Today, she’s a confident woman, who finds acceptance in God. Nichol has authored several books sharing her experiences, including a book called Behind Enemy Lines. She speaks around the country telling others how God saved her and gave her a beautiful, new beginning.
“It means the world to me that God would beautify me. God is a deliverer. Don’t give up on your family members, don’t stop praying. And if it’s you who is in bondage, all you have to do is cry out to the Lord and He’ll turn your life around.”
Looking at these videos and photos of Nichol from a few years ago, it’s hard to recognize the woman she is today. That’s the heart of Nichol’s message- -that through God, real change can happen. “I personally prayed a genuine prayer and I said, ‘Lord, please don’t allow me to look like where I came from.”