Victor is thriving. Victor is in his third year of studying graphic design, on a full scholarship. Staff at CHV describe Victor as a lovely young man, who is lots of fun. Victor is strong in spirit and a good self-advocate. But Victor wasn’t always thriving.
Victor came to CHV two years ago, because his parents did not support his transition from female to male. He would often be beaten and have food withheld from him until he said his dead (i.e. female) name. He refused.
Victor resides in CHV’s Rights of Passage (ROP) program. He has legally changed his name, had gender-affirming surgery, and hormone therapy. Victor has worked very hard towards his goals. This fall, something very upsetting happened to Victor.
In a letter from the student union, Victor was misgendered. Victor took this upsetting moment and used it as an opportunity. Meeting with the school, Victor educated staff on how harmful it can be to misgender someone. To Victor’s satisfaction, the school did not offer up an excuse, but owned their mistake and apologized profusely. They had learned from this unfortunate mistake, which prompted the school to issue a letter to all staff, to help educate them, on how harmful it can be to misgender someone.
In ROP, Victor participates in many of their activities. He works with a clinical counsellor at CHV, along with his primary healthcare team. Victor’s social worker said that when he was first assigned to her, people thought that he might not want to work with her, because she might remind him of his mother. In their first meeting, Victor was apprehensive, at first, but soon felt at ease to the point of dancing around the table. His social worker said, “He’s fine working with older people, the trick is to never tell him what to do.” All support and goal setting that is done at CHV for youth is youth led, so it’s not surprising that Victor felt at ease.
In addition to going to school, Victor also works part time, and provides feedback to program staff that help staff better support youth. Victor believes strongly in education. He feels that it’s the only way that change is going to happen.
This summer, Victor participated in his first Pride Parade, although somewhat remotely. With the new parade route, Victor and his boyfriend were able to take in the experience from a balcony at CHV, with tears of joy running down their faces.
Throughout his two years at CHV, Victor has worked diligently towards independence. He is currently being interviewed for the Hollyburn housing program. This program is the next step towards independence, from the ROP program at CHV.
As Victor works towards independence and towards his educational goals, he will always have CHV as a support, if he ever needs it. We have no doubt that Victor will meet his educational goals, and we have no doubt that he will continue to educate others in the importance of inclusivity.