It was not hard to notice Alexander was living homeless in Boston. He was carrying almost everything he owned on his back. Before I started the camera, I asked Alexander how long he was on the streets. He responded: “seven years as a woman, and now two years as a man”. What I didn’t see from a distance is Alexander is a transgender male.
Alexander’s story is important because homelessness is a critical issue for transgender people, with one in five having experienced homelessness at some time in their lives because of discrimination and family rejection. To me, Alexander’s story is heartbreaking, and I so admire his courage to be so open. Because Alexander is still in transition going from a woman to a man, homeless shelters will not provide services, leaving his only choice to be sleeping outside. Also, he is caught in the housing bureaucracy madness. Alexander has been on a housing waiting list since 2012!
This interview is a little longer than most, but it’s an important conversation, and I hope you’ll watch it to the end. Alexander has been caught in a perpetual cycle of frustration for eight and a half years now, and he says if it continues for another eight years it will be “twenty years waiting to be housed. Twenty years waiting to be me, and twenty years at the same income level”.
*For more please visit: Transgender Homelessness and My Visit with TRANS: THRIVE