Billy approached the project after he left secondary school at 16; he was going through the gender transition of female to male and had heard about the project from a poster at the local college.
Billy disclosed early on that his family had not accepted his decision to transition from female to male; he explained, that he was being emotionally abused by his family which included; name calling, being put on a diet against his will, and still being referred to as female and only bought female clothing.
Billy explained that this had been going on for the past couple of years and he did not know who to turn to for help. In his words he told us “the school knew what was going on, but they chose to turn a blind eye because they did not know how to deal with it, I was not only dealing with the emotions of transitioning I was bullied by other children at school as well as at home” The situation had become unbearable.
Most shockingly, Billy disclosed that his mother had moved house and downsized recently and he was now being made to sleep in the under stairs cupboard.
Name of Client
How he felt
Billy told us he felt isolated, alone and depressed. Billy could only access support for his gender transition through an agency in Exeter, which was a 1 hour and 10 minute train journey from Barnstaple.
Billy’s college work and relationships at college were suffering.
How we helped
It was important that we found alternative accommodation for Billy; a referral was made to a supported housing project. We attended the interview with Billy to help him to explain to the providers why it was so important to find appropriate accommodation, as there was another 3 people applying for the same room.
Billy was accepted into the housing project and was supported by the junction to move into the property. We supported Billy to make claims for income support and housing benefit to ensure that he was able to support himself financially whilst at college.
We were able to access financial support through Petroc which included, bus passes, school meals and a 16-18 year bursary.
We made a referral to the depression and anxiety clinic for Billy and attended GP appointments with Billy to support him
How that changed his life
Billy was successfully moved into a supported housing project where he met other young people who are experiencing similar issues and Billy has made some new and positive relationships, he told us he finally feels that he is being accepted for who he is.
Billy’s confidence and self esteem has increased and both him and has family are getting the specialist support they need. Billy’s relationship with his family is improving now he is not living at home
Billy is engaging with the support services offered by DAS and The Laurels who are equipped with the knowledge to support young transgenders.
Billy feels much happier at college and he is also part of a new LGBT group set up in North Devon.
What we learned
Billy continues to engage with the support from the housing project and outside agencies. He is now fully aware of how and where to access support agencies/services in the future.
Encompass Southwest staff are more aware of transgender issues within the local community and are trained in supporting transgender clients to access specialist services.
Billy has also been involved in designing all of the marketing material for the Junction project.