Friday, May 17, 2013
The film "Teal's Story" is part of a Digital Storytelling project from my PhD research study, which investigates LGBTQ youth homelessness in Toronto. I created the film with a very courageous young trans woman named Teal. "Teal's Story" visually illustrates her experiences in Toronto's shelter system and how she navigated daily occurrences of extreme transphobia. My hope is that this film will raise awareness to the issue of LGBTQ youth homelessness and begin a much needed shift in the shelter system. Everyone NEEDS to see this. Please watch and share "Teal's Story".
"Almost all LGBTQ people going into shelters have a fear of them, because it isn’t a matter of if it’s dangerous, but just how dangerous it will be. It is horrible to live in that fear everyday." (Teal, 23 years old, Digital Storytelling project)
A special thank you to the The 519 Church Street Community Centre for supporting this project.
Please watch and share the film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhEX12aZC1A
Today is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
Today we raise awareness to the ongoing violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTQ people around the world every single day.
Toronto may be considered one of the safest cities in the world for LGBTQ people, however, the prevalence of homophobic and transphobic violence is often normalized and invisible.
25-40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. Queer and trans youth experiencing homelessness often feel safer on the streets than in shelters, due to the extreme homophobia and transphobia that occurs in the shelter system. But still there is minimal support available in Toronto and still we do NOT have specialized housing for LGBTQ youth in Canada.
I hope everyone can take a moment today to think about this and to help raise awareness because this type of discrimination affects us all.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Toronto’s queer-friendly reputation attracts thousands of LGBTQ people looking for a place to feel safe and accepted, celebrate Pride, and wanting to get married.
However, up to 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ and still there are NO specialized shelters or transitional housing for this population of youth.
Come on Canada, it's time to start prioritizing LGBTQ homeless youth.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Kyle’s death has struck a very deep, sad chord inside of me. Although I did not know him very well, I was looking forward to getting to know him better. We recently wrote a grant proposal together for a project that we would have led together. I was excited about the possibility of spending more time with Kyle. Unfortunately our project did not get funded. A few weeks ago we discussed that, regardless of the lack of funding, we would find a way to make it work.
I have spent the past few days thinking very much about Kyle’s sweet smile, his soft voice, and his caring ways. I have also spent the past few days thinking about the ways that we treat one another – “we” as in all of us in this community, neighbours, colleagues, strangers on the subway, ignorant people that stare, every single one of us here in this city.
So much time is spent on being cool, being awkward, pretending that you’ve never met the person who you know you have met a dozen times before, placing judgment, and trying to be better than. Not enough time is spent on telling someone that they have a beautiful smile, listening, asking questions, and being soft and kind.
We seriously need to find ways to better support each other, to show people that we care, and to say I love you.
I have also been thinking about the ignorant things that people say on a daily basis and the way that people stare at anyone that doesn’t fit into their clean-cut categories and the extremely negative effects that this all has.
I have been brainstorming things to say to the next person who feels it’s okay to stare at me as if I don’t belong in this world.
This week has slowed me down and made me feel every beat in my heart.
May we find ways to talk about our struggles, insecurities, and fears.
May we learn how to ask more questions, how to listen a little deeper,
and pay closer attention to the small details.
May we please support each other and be kind and gentle and soft and loving and honest and open.
May we please reach out and take care of each other.
In honour of Kyle, I will find a way to make that project happen.
Friday, June 29, 2012
In the midst of our celebrations this weekend, let’s take some time to remember and raise awareness to the fact that a high proportion of young people in our community are homeless and are living in fear on a daily basis because they are unsafe in a shelter system where homophobia and transphobia are rampant.
It is time to acknowledge that LGBTQ youth homelessness is a major issue in Toronto and that Toronto desperately needs to implement support services for our youth. Everyone deserves a safe bed, regardless of their gender or sexual identity.
Looking forward to celebrating love and authenticity this weekend.
Wishing everyone a happy and safe pride!