Brianna Nicole Austin was born in the summer of 2000 when she exploded onto the New York City transgender community party scene like a whirling dervish. The rise of the Transgender Girls Club was almost instantaneous — just months after she formed it with her trans-sister Chrissy.
Brianna Nicole Austin came out and frequented the cross-dressing scene, where she met Chrissy, and the two became instantly inseparable — a trans version of the Hilton sisters — where there was onne, you’d find the other. They braved the mainstream, and also ventured into the gay community.
By early 2001 Brianna formed the Girls Club of New York — a zany group of T-girls who, through their adventures served, in part, as a vicarious bridge for cross-dressers. Through the articles, and photo galleries, those who remained within the protected confines of the cross-dressing clubs of the era now had a view into trasngender living without borders.
By the summer of 2001 Brianna’s website was widely read and she became the New York columnist for Gina Lance’s GIRL TALK Magazine, a glossy print publication, also serving as a conttibuting columnist for Transgender Community News.
In her GIRL TALK column ‘A Bite of the Big Apple‘ shw would write commentary about the transgender experience, interviews with trasngender celebrities, and reveiews of events and shows. And many of those events the Girls Club attended, individually, or as a group.
With every appearance in a column, or cover story, the Girs Club repuation grew.
The combination of Brianna’s articles and many cover and feature astories, together with the escapades of the Girl Club everywhere made them highly-visible and popular; they frequented the transgeder scene, the gay club circuit, and the mainstream, such as Broadway shows, the ballet, and the trendiest bars and lounges.
Brianna, Chrissy, Jamie Swan, would ignite the transgender clubs they frequented on Saturday nights, until Brianna arranged to takeover promotion and rebrand the Dressing Room parties, which were only atracting 10-15 people per event. It was hosted at East of Eighth bar & restaurant, and with the very first monthly event the party swelled to a line out the door attracting 100+ regulars, and became the talk of the town.
Always packed, some of their most memorible parties were the themed parties. These included The Moulin Rouge party, Tropical Nights, and their Halloween custume party — held a second location where Brianna secured The Limerick House, an Irish Pub on West 23rd.
.. breaking barriers
In 2002 Brianna Austin and Chrissy hosted ‘The Life’ talk show, filmed at The Silver Swan restaurant. The debut episode featured guest Jesse Volt, along with Singer-songwriter Lisa Jackson (who Brianna would pen many articles about). It attracted a packed house, but for personal reasons, Brianna never aired the show, nor pursued another.
Throughout the life of the Girls Club they had developed a simple Saturday night routine. They woulld begin at one of the trasnsgender paries, Karolyn’s Oasis or the Silver Swan. They’d meet with friends, and then head out into the night. While a gang of five, there were several others that would frequenly go out with them, notibly T, Jamie, and Michele. But others would be invited to come along from time to time, and they often did.
They had become a alternate transgender version of the ‘Sex In The City” girls’. They became goodwill ambassadors and often found themselves conversing with gay and mainstream tourists. People were often surprised. On one occation, after a night out the Girls Club were at their regular diner for breakfast, when a low voice said “Would you like to join us?” Brianna turned to see a tall man pointing to a table with four others. She noted that they had already ordered, but would join them for coffee after.
Coffee turned into four hours of conversation with this hockey team from Sweden. And they noted that they were surprised at the intellectual depth of the conversations: they expected psychologically damaged bimbos. This had been the experience in most encounteres, where the Girls Club was effectively able to tear down the walls of people’s perceptions and expectations.
It was an ongoing attempt to present a better understanding to those unaware or unfamiliar with the trans community. Oddly it wasn’t the mainstream but rather gay friends that would inquire “Why do you want to be someone else?”
Brianna TG Life magazine & community is undergoing an overhault expected to relaunch in 2023