21 year-old, homeless heterosexual trans man, Terry Ruggiero at Trinity Place Shelter. Trinity Place Shelter is a non-sectarian, 10-bed transitional shelter that provides LGBTQ youth and young adults with a safe place to sleep, shower, eat and store belongings. Trinity Place Shelter provides a unique home and family-like environment where youth receive individualized care, respect, and the basic services so often denied them. Having such a space, staffed by professional social workers, supports our residents in gaining the skills and confidence needed to exit homelessness and begin to live into their dreams. In 2012 the Williams Institute estimated that of all homeless youth, 40% LGBTQI+. The US Interagency Council on Homelessness says the number is closer to 20%-40%. Behind the scenes photography and video and assistant: Alison Lippy, Allison@allisonlippy.com, Phone +1 410 967 1096. Photography and video by Robin Hammond, pitures@robinhammond.co.uk. Editor: Mallory Benedict, Mallory.Benedict@natgeo.com, +1 202.791.1282. 31 January 2019

Terry /

Hello this is my story I would like to explain and tell for those who can relate, I was born female and had an awesome childhood I was in the wrong body and realized at 11 that I am transgender FTM. I have gotten bullied due to being who I am and have gotten knocked down many times due to it I am a strong human who has learned many things about myself over the years of my transition. I didn’t have a good experience back in school the kids who I went to school with weren’t pleasant human beings they always assumed my gender identity and sometimes spread my business to others and it was an ongoing thing I dealt with. I didn’t share my personal business with these bullies and it made me really annoyed and upset that they would focus on me so much and assume my identity and care so much about it. I wasn’t a bad person or ever cared about their gender identity so why did they care so much?? I still wonder sometimes why I got treated like that when I’m a good person to others.

I have gotten misgendered a lot in my life, and I would get upset and frustrated because I knew who I was and who I felt inside and I didn’t want people to keep on misgendering me. My family isn’t really supportive with me being transgender but my father, my grandmother and aunt accept me and I was happy to have their support and care. My father and I were close since I was born and I lost him in December 2014 due to a massive heart attack and it was hard for me to not have him around anymore because he loved me for who I was and saw me as his son no matter what. Years later things got better for me I started testosterone and the misgendering started to stop and then I got my name and gender marker changed legally and I was blessed and thought I wouldn’t be able to. After all the excitement I then got my top surgery and it was a memorable moment for me because I wouldn’t have to layer up my clothing anymore and I was able to wear my shirt off and feel more comfortable in my skin.


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