I just wanted someone to listen to me. My Support Worker at Llamau was the only person who understood what I needed and who fought my corner.

I told my family I was transgender when I was 21. I’d already come out to them as bisexual a few years before so I suppose I wasn’t as scared about it as some people would have been. My parents are religious and it had taken them a while to come to terms with my sexuality, but they had become much more accepting of me after I’d tried to commit suicide. By the time I was ready to tell them I was transgender, I guess I just hoped that they would support me to be happy.

Although they were quite supportive, my brother who was also living at home, became really aggressive towards me and I felt like I had to leave home for my own safety.

I didn’t have anywhere else that I could live where I felt I would be accepted and so I turned to my local council to ask for help.

They gave me a room in a really remote Bed & Breakfast. My only opportunity to eat was at breakfast and I felt totally isolated. Before moving in I’d started taking testosterone so my appearance was changing. Another person living at the B&B was homophobic, and I knew it wouldn’t be safe for me to stay there for long. I made the decision to email my AM hoping she might be able to help me. Within a couple of days, Llamau had contacted me and arranged for me to move into one of their emergency rooms. Although I knew this was only an emergency room, I actually felt the safest and most at home that I had for a long time. I was accepted for who I was and didn’t feel judged at all. My appearance was really changing, but everyone was so understanding.

After about three and a half months of living in the Emergency Room at Llamau a worker from the Homeless Intervention team came to see me. She really did not understand me or my situation. She told me I was being placed in a boy’s hostel miles away from my GP who was really understanding. I tried to explain that although I identify as a man, I would be really vulnerable in a male hostel.  She just did not care and told me I had no choice but to move out of the emergency room.

The meeting with the Homeless Intervention Officer sent me into an awful panic attack. I felt like a caged animal and was completely terrified about what was about to happen to me. The worst pictures were being painted in my mind. Having experienced sexual assault in the past, it was back in my mind as a possibility. After things had looked so positive since I’d moved in to Llamau’s project, I felt like all my hopes for the future were being taken from me.   

Thankfully my support worker at Llamau stepped in and took over the whole process. She took the time to listen to me and helped me calm down. She worked to find me a suitable flat, where I’ve lived ever since. I’m settled now and happy. I’m planning to go to University to do a Masters, which I’m so excited about. I honestly wouldn’t be where I am now without her and Llamau’s support. They really listened to me and understood the support that I needed. They’ve given me so many opportunities and I’ve recently become a Llamau Ambassador which gives me a chance to give back to the charity that has helped me so much.

I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through some of the experiences I’ve been through but I do want other LGBTQ+ young people to know that I was really shocked by how understanding everyone was when I first became homeless. The vast majority of people have been totally accepting and embraced me in a respectful, no questions asked sort of way.

I do strongly believe though that there needs to be more education for people surrounding transgender issues. We’re much more likely to become homeless and there’s absolutely no LGBTQ+ specific accommodation in most areas of Wales.