It is said that our past gives way to a better future. But what happens when your past is made of the greatest pain. ForGenene “Gigi” Nicole, she made her pain her income. After years of mental, physical, and sexual abuse, she ran away at the age of 13 and learned how to survive on the streets of Witchita, Kansas. Pregnant and having a son at 16 did not make it any better. Once she became a legal adult, she opened her own adult entertainment company (Sydnee’ entertainment) and provided escort services and exotic dancers. The company grew to become one of the largest of its kind in the Midwest.
Unfortunately, the success of her entertainment company didn’t translate into happiness. Gigi experienced failed romances, two divorces, the loss of a child, an alcohol addiction, suicide attempts, and also multiple run-ins with the law. It was a cycle that she became determined to break
In an effort to change, Gigi started Priceless Diamonds, Inc., a 501(C)3 nonprofit, with a mission to advocate for children and help them find solace in programs where they can thrive instead of being at risk due to the lack of support from a failed social and judicial system Gigi experienced growing up.
Gigi has transitioned from adult entertainment to launching her nonprofit because she knows what can happen when there isn’t enough help for our youth. She realized there were kids just like her that didn’t have anyone to advocate for them or help them thrive.
In a very personal interview, Gigi discusses her past and how it inspired the transition to advocate for children.
Let’s talk about your transition from adult entertainment to now being an entrepreneur on the other side where you are now protecting children and being the voice for them. What led you to create Priceless Diamonds?
Basically, due to all I went through. I’m not the only one. I mean, there have been so many things that have happened with my family, talking to friends, seeing stuff on TV, and just being in the industry. I’ve seen so many broken adults and it stems from their childhood a lot of times. And I know when I was molested and abused and all steppingstones of life that hindered me, it’s hard to allow others to go through it if I can help.
And even just the awareness side of it is major because it seems like a lot of people don’t want to talk about it. Like it is like a scary subject sometimes. And I don’t understand why, because you have so many kids acting out, and normally when kids act out, they’re acting out for a reason It’s not just that they’re bad, or they want attention or whatever.
Normally there is something at the root of that. And if I can just help a parent, a person, a teacher, or a child understand that these could be the signs. This could be, it could not be it, but just to raise awareness that one out of every three girls is molested. One out of every five to six boys. This is a high number. And the world that we live in, people wonder why so much crap is happening because people are damaged.
People are hurt, they’re mad, they’re pissed. When you’re a child, you can’t always control things and things are done to you, and imaginably and, and you take advantage of when you have the ability to start controlling your own situation, it can make you either do it right. Or it can make you do it wrong, or it can make you not see things the way they should, because your reality is warped, you know, and you were raised in a culture that has damaged your view on life.
So, if I can just help, I don’t care if it’s one person, ten people, or a million people; if I can just help someone not go through what I went through, man, I swear to God, I would just be so happy because it’s a sad, lonely, broken road.
How difficult was it, or was it difficult at all because of your past?
Starting the nonprofit was not difficult at all. I did my 501(C)3, and I started the process. I just needed to understand a hundred percent what I was doing and the direction that I wanted to go. Because I had the heart of what I wanted to do, I kind of put it on paper and made it manifest.
Now that’s a whole different beast itself. A nonprofit…a lot of them don’t have the support that they need, especially on certain causes. And I’m not talking about just financial. I’m just talking about the awareness side, the legs of it to help it walk and, and getting things together. But I’ve been able to through the 501(C)3 mentor program with the Fulton County Restorative Board and working with homeless people, I’ve been able to raise awareness.
I’ve been able to advocate for teens. I’ve been able to advocate in the prison system. I was able to advocate through myself with my son because he did go to prison and I have just had the heart of the awareness side.
You launched in 2012. Since launching, how many children have you been able to give a voice to and potentially save?
You know what, I don’t even want to put a number on it because I don’t have a number I can say. With the restorative board, we’d see kids weekly and lots of kids. I did that for a year or two. And so, it was like every week we had kids, and I would work with some of the kids. We would just advocate for them with the court system and stuff like that. And then other kids I’ve mentored just through the nonprofit. There have been some people that are with agencies or families that will call me, and they just may need resources.
And I’ve advocated for kids to get back into school when they were out for a while and help get stuff transferred over. And because I do a lot of resource stuff I do a lot of advocating. So, I can’t put a number on that or really a ballpark because I don’t know. I’ve been doing this since 2012, and I’ve been consistent with it except for a year or two.
And I kind of got depressed when my son went to prison and I started advocating for his case. I got overwhelmed with that. And so, Priceless Diamonds kind of fell to the wayside for a few years. But other than that, I’ve come in contact with lots and lots of kids and families and women and people in the prison system.
What made you want to move into human trafficking, or is that also a part of your nonprofit, Priceless Diamonds?
It’s a part of Priceless Diamond. When I started prices diamonds, it was more about child abuse because of me and the molestation and my family and all that stuff. But being in the industry and having a company in the industry for 13 years, I have seen a lot. I didn’t allow anyone underage to work for me, I was big on that. When I was on my own at 13, I’m in the strip club, I’m escorting, having grown men hire me to be their escort or their dancer or whatever. I was a little girl. I shouldn’t even be out here like this. And no one said anything at that time. I’m 41 now, but at that time, you never really heard about sex trafficking.
You do now, I guess it’s major now, but it’s been going on a long time. And to heal and help, I have to be open a hundred percent. And I was in the sex trade. I was a little teenage girl out there doing things that I should not have been doing. And that is human trafficking. That is when stripping clubs, escort agencies or pimps, or whatever take advantage of kids.
And before I opened my company, I knew for a fact I saw plenty of kids my age working, stripping, having pimps, and it’s like no one cared. They were just a pretty face or a dollar sign or whatever. And nobody came to save them. Kids came to save me. Nobody gave a damn, so the human trafficking thing is big in my heart because of what I’ve seen and what I’ve been through.
So, what’s next for you in 2022?
Well, right now, I’m just letting in the energy and kind of flowing with it—the nonprofit definitely in 2022. I wanted to do so much more than it’s been doing and just to manifest a lot of healing and many open doors for clarity, a hundred percent the direction and the mentorship and the awareness and stuff like that. So, the nonprofit is 2022—just full throttle.
I am thinking about doing my book, and I want it to be transparent and hopefully inspiring. Also, just help my son…guide him, direct him on his purpose, what he’s supposed to be doing, and how he’s supposed to be doing it. So, just live and enjoy life in 2022, just heal more and see what happens.
Well, I am sure everything you set your heart to do will manifest in greatness. Thank you, again, for taking the time to chat with me and being so transparent.
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Dr. Pamela Gurley is a Professional Speaker, Media Journalist, and Author. She has been featured in Forbes; on Good Morning Washington, Good Day Atlanta, and others.