21 year-old, homeless agender and demisexual, Julian Moreno at Trinity Place Shelter.
 
I was born in Mexico to a Mormon family. When I was eight we moved to Utah. This was not an inclusive place.
I grew up around heavily enforced gender roles. By age twelve I knew that I had to eventually get married in the temple, have kids, and raise them in the church. Women were encouraged to go to college, but there was an expectation that one would leave their career to stay home with the kids. I dreaded that future but I knew there was no option if I wanted to go to heaven.
So I did not have many friends except through social media from other parts of the country and from different backgrounds and life experiences. It was thanks to these friends that I realized I was queer.
In my first year of high school, I was particularly close with one of them. In October she told me she had a crush on me. She was my best friend and I loved her and I didnÕt know how I felt. I spent that semester questioning my feelings and my sexuality. I discovered that I had feelings for her and we started dating.
[history of mental health issues]
. I didnÕt really feel like a cis woman but identified as non-binary and felt comfortable presenting as femme. I hope my identity and pronouns, [inaudible 00:04:59] them at the time, would be better understood and respected in New York.
[details problems in mental health treatment]
Especially growing up in the Mormon church, it really, really affected my mental health because I was all of these things that they didnÕt like. I mean, I was queer. I was trans. I didnÕt know it at the time, but I was. And I was, even being a feminist, I Know Mormons in Utah whoÕve been disowned by their families for being feminist, because theyÕre just that conservative. And so, all of these parts of myself that I knew that if I came out with them to my friends and the people that I knew, it would not be well received and that they would stop associating with me. So, I just had to deny all these parts of myself because they were, you know, I taught that they were inherently horrible and I couldnÕt get, they were parts of me, but I just had to deny them constantly.
The reason IÕm a homeless is because I, the reason IÕm homeless this because of the actions of institutionalized transphobia in the school that I was attending. And because I would rather stay here and transition than go home to Mexico where itÕs not really an option.
Even now with my gender marker changed and my name legally changed, I know IÕm not going to go in and theyÕre going to just misgender me and [inaudible 00:13:35] me. The fear is still there because it was so prevalent for most of my life that people would just dismiss me. Often on the basis of my queerness and itÕs hard to get a job and all these things just isolate people and make it so hard to survive the world.
So, the reason being deadnamed and misgendered hurts so much is because itÕs ultimately a denial of the person that you are. ItÕs just people refusing to see you as you are based on their social understanding. Often itÕs an act of direct violence if somebody knows your pronouns and chooses to use the wrong ones, itÕs an active attempt to deny your humanity. But other times when itÕs just strangers on the street who donÕt know better, itÕs like little pebbles that add up. And just one ends up despairing because for the longest time I thought, IÕm never going to be seen for who I am.
You can be the gender that you identify with without necessarily having to give everything up from your old life. Because ultimately you havenÕt changed. YouÕve always been the same person.

Julian/

,


“Manhattan College refused to refund one penny. I am now thousands of dollars in debt for credits I didn’t receive and housing I couldn’t access.”

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wlii-c-200123-mexico-EzraSebastian01

Ezra/


“No one tells you how complicated it is to go to a public bathroom, everyone looks at you, everyone talks about you, mocks you…”

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Luis

Luis/


“I’ve been raised in a pentecostal christian family, listening every day of my live than homosexuality is a sin and all gays go to hell. When I find out I was GAY (11 Yo, maybe), I was so scared. I didn’t tell anybody, until I was 15, when a friend of mine told it AT school and people became to laughed at me.”

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