Happy Pride Month from Covenant House Vancouver

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The #CHVCatchUp is a monthly series featuring the latest updates and news from Covenant House Vancouver (“CHV”). Miss604 is proud to be the Official Blog Partner of CHV. This month’s post has been written by Jason Bosher.

Happy Pride Month from Covenant House Vancouver!

Happy Pride Covenant House June 2023

The Origin of Pride Month

Although Pride Month is considered by many as a celebration, it is important to remember that the origins of Pride began with an uprising against oppression and discrimination; namely the Stonewall Uprising (often referred to as the Stonewall Riots).

Jaden’s Journey

There is insidious disinformation out there that problematizes and pathologizes trans folks. What is armchair philosophy to some folks ends up resulting in harm for trans folks, here and around the world.

Jaden* is a trans youth who came to Covenant House Vancouver (CHV) during the pandemic.

At age eight, Jaden ran away from home. Being a trans youth in South Asia was extremely challenging. Jaden was caught and brought back to the family home, where they were hidden from society. Moving to Canada did not change things. Jaden was not allowed to have many friends, and when they wished to express themselves through art, supplies were purchased and brought to the family home. The family thought that they were protecting Jaden, but they were doing the opposite.

Jaden came to CHV from a hospital setting, as they were dealing with their psychosis and suicidality that stemmed from family not allowing Jaden to be transgender. At that time, Jaden’s art was very dark — black and white compositions full of dead or decaying images.

Over time, Jaden came to the realization that they identified as male and female. Now, Jaden looks at their gender as an expression of how they feel that day. Jaden has now moved to the female-identified floor of Rights of Passage. Even early on in their stay at CHV, Jaden stated that “CHV was the best thing that ever happened to me!”

Jaden takes pamphlets that pertain to the trans community, when they meet with family, to try and help them understand. Jaden has learned to have conversations around the pamphlets via text messages, because if the messages are upsetting, Jaden can simply delete them.

A regular occurrence at CHV is teatime, hosted by Kadee, Lead Spiritual Care Practitioner at CHV. It’s a time for youth to gather with Kadee, have tea and chat in a very casual setting. Kadee has noticed that Jaden had begun to practise self-care. Kadee said: “It’s wonderful to see that in a non-dictating space that we provide, Jaden is exploring who they really are. For some, being trans is a linear process where the internal self and the external self align, but I can see that having both a male and a female presence, is very true to who Jaden is. It’s a privilege to see someone trust their own voice and trust their own sense of what they need and who they are.”

Last year, Jaden was able to celebrate Pride for the first time. Their Pride artwork was made into posters and pins. Jaden’s artwork has gone from black and white to a flourish of colour and celebration. Jaden, who is quite shy, is now reaching out to other 2SLGBTQAI+ groups to meet other young people. Jaden wants to take their experiences and work with, and support, other youth.

Jaden’s mental health is stable. It’s been a year since they’ve had an episode of psychosis. Jaden has used their artistic talents to create a comic book in order to help parents understand what it’s like to live as a transgender person. Feeling liberated enough to express themselves has been a huge success for Jaden.

Recently, Jaden met with family and told us that their family called them Jaden for the first time! That was the first expression of acceptance that Jaden has received from their family.

*Name and identifying details have been changed for privacy reasons.

Words on a graphic that say a quote: "We see the difference it makes to have a hospitable place for trans, non-binary, and other youth across the gender spectrum. If you believe in helping young people flourish, then supporting all youth is important, across society."

Why Supporting 2SLGBTQAI+ Youth Is Important

Studies have shown that:

  • 25–40% of homeless youth are 2SLGBTQAI+
  • Family rejection is the most common cause of 2SLGBTQAI+ youth homelessness
  • 2SLGBTQAI+ youth are much more likely to struggle with mental health concerns  

Organizations, like CHV, that support queer youth are important in the community because, as Kadee puts it: “We see the difference it makes to have a hospitable place for trans, non-binary, and other youth across the gender spectrum. If you believe in helping young people flourish, then supporting all youth is important, across society. For youth to have the experience of ‘I am loved, I am welcomed, I am respected, not in spite of who I am, but knowing exactly who I am,’ is something that they take from here, that serves them for the rest of their lives. And then, they advocate to make that true for others.” If you’d like to help youth flourish, click here.

How do you celebrate Pride? Follow Covenant House Vancouver on their social channels and share the ways that you embrace inclusivity.

1 Comment  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Murphy TikewaThursday, June 8th, 2023 — 11:59am PDT

    Thanks for the empathetic article dedicated to the 2SLGBTQAI+ Youth community, having said that, we have updated the community name to 4SLGBTQAI+ to be more inclusive of our friends who are trisexual and Biqueers. I request that update this article to reflect the more inclusive community name.

    Murphy, Kwikitlum.

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