Nich’s Story

Nich found a community of support for LGBTQ2S+ youth and a place to call home through a United Way funded agency.

“When I was younger, my family faced a lot of mental illnesses, and mental health struggles. That led us to becoming financially unstable. My dad ended up losing his job and wasn’t able to find work and my mom was on disability. So, there was a lot of financial struggle there, and it was quite difficult. It was to a point where my family was almost out on the street, because we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to pay the mortgage.”

Aware of the financial struggle his family faced, Nich moved in with a friend at a young age to help. “It was confusing and frustrating for me because I wanted to stay with my family for as long as I could. I have always had this dream that I would stay with my parents until I was 18 or 19, they would help me find a place, and I would move in and it would be great. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. It was very confusing being away from my parents and not having much contact with them.”

Moving out at such a young age placed considerable stress and pressure on Nich, causing his studies to suffer: “My grades dropped significantly; I was not maintaining a very good attendance; it was a struggle.” In addition to the financial and familial struggles Nich faced, there was the added challenge of being a trans person and enduring daily discrimination: “Every day of my life I experienced discrimination, especially in high school. I didn’t go a lot of the days because the bullying had gotten so bad. I had actually had rocks thrown at me a number of times due to my transition. People would scream at me and tell me that I wasn’t a ‘proper person’. I also faced a lot of discrimination in the workplace. I had managed to find a job, but was fired due to being trans. They felt that I was going to bring down their income.”

Moving to OUT Saskatoon’s Pride Home provided Nich with a place to live, support, and a community of LGBTQS+ youth to connect with. “I was comfortable with transitioning when I was living rurally, but it was definitely a struggle, and I often faced thoughts like, ‘If I hadn’t transitioned, maybe life would be easier for me, and I would have more friends, and wouldn’t be discriminated against.’ When I moved into Pride Home I found quite a few individuals that appreciate me for who I am, and it has really helped me to realized that this is who I am and that’s okay”.

As Nich shares his story, he also shares this final message of hope: “Remember that it’s not always going to be as dark as it is in that place and time, and that every new day is a new blank slate. Though it may repeat, often times it is going to change for the better. It’s just taking those little steps. Even a little bit of progress is still progress.”

“When I moved into Pride Home I found quite a few individuals that appreciate me for who I am, and it has really helped me to realize that this is who I am and that’s okay”.

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Paige GignacNich’s Story