Teenage Gia Carangi, who was desperate looking for love met a teenager named Karen Karusa. They became best friends.
Karen Karusa tells about Gia Carangi: “When I first met her it was just her father and her two brothers, and her father owned some hoagie shops so he worked a lot. She then went to go live with her mother. She had this bouncing around family situation and back and forth and whatever,”
karen says, “Gia felt abandoned. There was a lot kind of going on inside her, she was very street-smart, but there was a lot of pain and it all kind of comes out and you can feel it. And there was just a lot of feeling when you look at her.”
During her early teens, Gia broke curfews, experimented with alcohol, pills, and marijuana – something that most would say was very common in the 70s. Rebelliousness was a part of the circle they were all travelling on. Gia worshipped David Bowie and identified with his rebellious side. With the presence of Bowie kids, Gia found the family she was yearning for. Gia went to concerts and hung out with the older crowd at gay clubs in downtown of Philadelphia. Gia identified with Bowie and his worshipers because according to them, it was okay to be different, bisexual, and gay. Gia’s sexuality was the only thing about her she was certain of and most times, proud of. “She was very open about it. She was always kissing someone on the mouth or grabbing someone or whatever,” says Karen. No one was more disappointed than Gia’s mom. She took Gia to counseling, but nothing worked.