Daniel Despins, an 18-year-old from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, hasn't lived in his parents' home since he came out as transgender four years ago. But this Christmas, he's celebrating with the family that once rejected him.
Despins told CBC News that his mother kicked him out when he explained he identifies as male. He said, "She came into my room with my stepfather and she said, 'You have to get out.'"
Over the next four years, his housing situation varied. He said he also experienced homelessness during that time. But this holiday, his family has become more accepting of his gender identity. Despins explains that he and his mother can now exchange the words "I love you." Even elderly relatives are respecting Despins' identity by calling him by his chosen name.
Despins hasn't moved back in with his family, but he explained that the lines of communication are now open, and the relationship is, overall, "much better." Refinery29 reached out to Despins, but he declined to speak with us.
Canada has made strides this year toward addressing homelessness among LGBT teens, putting aside $600,000 for a LGBT youth housing, according to news site The Torontoist.