Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Last week I met with a manager at Covenant House. She gave me a tour and answered all my questions. I was there for about 2 hours and it went really well. I learned a lot from that meeting and it was different than I had anticipated...I can't quite articulate exactly how yet, just different.
I also had two more interviews with youth last week. I had my first interview with a woman, which was great because I was really hoping that women would come forward. 
I had my first cancellation as well! Up until now I have interviewed 5 youth and will hopefully be interviewing a couple more.
I have learned a lot from all the conversations with the youth.
I have been thinking about how very important it is to hear people's voices and to learn about their lived experiences.  
The youth I have spoken to have been teaching me about possible solutions and about the things they need most when trying to access a service.
I have been listening while they have been speaking....and it has been enlightening..

On Friday I interviewed Lorraine (Health Promoter) at Shout.  Lorraine has been my primary contact person at Shout and she has been really wonderful and helpful.  The interview with her was different than the other interviews I had done at organizations, as she seemed to be really progressive with her ideas and understanding of the issues at hand as they relate to queer youth and homelessness.  My meeting with her felt like an opening to ideas and thoughts....
My next step is to get moving with my transcribing and on Monday May 5th I begin the MRP course, which I am looking forward to. It will be interesting to hear where the other students in the program are at with their MRP's.

Monday, April 21, 2008


This morning I had a meeting with Leslie from SOY at the Sherbourne Health Centre. Leslie runs the mentoring program and the Monday night drop-in for homeless and insecurely housed queer and trans youth.  I interviewed Leslie and it went so well. She was extremely informative and taught me a lot.  SOY offers a lot of really great programs; I wish I would have known about them when I came out. 
We spoke about getting resources to youth and about homophobia and transphobia occurring in organizations in Toronto. 
It was a very helpful meeting.
My next meeting is set up for Wednesday at Covenant House. And I've received 2 more calls for interviews...all males...I am really hoping some women will participate in my study.
And so for now I have to catch up on my transcribing!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

this day

Today I had my first three interviews. The first interview was one hour and forty minutes and the other two were about twenty minutes. All the conversations were so informative. So many words. So many feelings. So much. Ideas and exchanges. All three..so different from one another. I felt really nervous at first, but it quickly wore off as soon as the first interview started. I found myself comfortable, curious, and open. Today taught me a lot. There was something so real in this day that has left me sore in the bones and tired. Memories that I buried deep inside of myself came creeping back and there was a sadness at times, but the sadness was also an understanding. And I have so much to say about this day....but not the words....yet.

On Monday I will be meeting with Bev Lepischak at Sherbourne Health (SOY) for an interview about SOY. I also heard back from Covenant House and they have agreed to meet with me, give me a tour, and answer my questions. I think it will be interesting to hear the perspective of both youth who have accessed services and the people who work at the services.

I am pleased with the beginning of this project...and I have a lot of things to think about from this day...

Monday, April 14, 2008

the first

This morning I had my meeting at Evergreen. I met with the director and the housing support worker.
And we talked.
I asked. She answered.
Then I interviewed the housing worker.
I was surprised that I didn't get a tour of Evergreen.
So now...I'm thinking it might be a really good idea to interview a few more organizations, as I've already spoken with a community health organization, a religious organization, perhaps I should speak with the 519, Sherbourne Health Centre (SOY program), Covenant House (Religious organization, but also a shelter), and maybe Tumivut (first shelter in Toronto that is "trans friendly").
Next step is to make some phone calls and appointments!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

my path in the rain..

Yesterday started off really rainy and while I waited in a coffee shop before my appointment at Shout I observed this city and I quickly grew sick of how ignorant people are and how mean so many people are to homeless people.
Then I walked on over to Shout and met with Lorraine and Stephanie. They gave me a tour around the place and showed me where my office will be. We spoke about my project needs and the role that Shout will play in my MRP. We also spoke about any safety concerns that might arise for me as a researcher and the codes that they will use if my safety is at risk at all. Everyone at Shout was really supportive of my MRP idea and I was surprised to hear how many people had read my research proposal; it made me happy.  Lorraine was really great and she gave me a lot of contacts, she also told me that she will start telling potential participants about my project and pretty soon I should have six interviews on the go!
After I left Shout my mind was on fire and filled with ideas.....ideas that I may be able to work with in the next 4 1/2 months or ideas that might have to carry over to other projects.
It feels good to be in the right place. To hear the world speaking to me from so many corners...

Monday, April 7, 2008

a start...

I have been thinking about this project since September 2007.
There have been quite a few changes to the project since then.
Now I am more concrete with my research questions, my aim, my goals, and myself as a researcher.
The research project has been approved by the ethics board at York University and at Shout Clinic. 
I am now in the recruiting stage of the project and have just set up my first interview today!
This is all so exciting for me, as I feel very passionate about this project.
I am hoping to incorporate a more arts-based research element to this.
I am also hoping to make a short film.
And so here I will document the progress, the happiness, the struggles, here I will document as the days, weeks, and months go by.