Stephanie Jones from Moreton, Wirral says growing up feeling alienated inside of her body rendered her depressed and homeless, as she suffered for 20 years in the wrong body.
Jones, 28, says she remembered feeling displaced in her skin her whole life, and that her skin felt like as foreign as a "crisp wrapper" around her body.
She knew she wasn't a boy at age 4 and endured an extremely harrowing childhood where she was incessantly bullied. When she was outed as transgender by a friend, she ended up living on the streets. Finally, she sought help and went to the YMCA.
I began my transition in the YMCA in Birkenhead in 2011 and even though at this time in transition I knew I didn't look so feminine but I felt happy deep within myself for the first time in my life.
As upsetting as this story is, it is not uncommon. Stephanie Jones is just one example of how our society continues to fail transgender youth.
In the United States alone, there are approximately 1.6 million to 2.8 million homeless young people living on the streets, and "disproportionate numbers of those youth are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender."
Let's not forget that while LGBTQ+ rights are continuing to progress in the world, we can't ever neglect to remember the "T" in our community. We still have a long way to go in the fight for total acceptance and equality for people of all genders and sexual orientations.