At just 13 years old, Shawn was recruited to an infamous street gang by his mother’s friends. For two years, they beat him to groom him for a life of violence. “They wanted to toughen me up. They wanted a soldier,” he explains.
Marie was a conscientious teenager and an excellent student, but her aunt she lived with would constantly berate her for carelessness and scold her for her disappointing behaviour.
When Darren was only 13 years old, his mom threw him out. His mother suspected one of his friends when some of her jewellery went missing, so she flew into a rage and told her young son to leave her home immediately. With nowhere to go in his small Prairie town, he imagined the big [...]
For as long as he could remember, Aaron knew he was a boy. He was born and raised a girl, and he endured violence and cruelty for being transgender. A Google search taught him that there was a larger world where he could find safety, love and acceptance, so he clung to the hope he [...]
Marcel spent three long solitary nights in a downtown Toronto park when he first came to Canada. He remembers assuming that this would simply be what life was like in his new country. He recalls gazing at the stars overhead–their beauty and constancy in contrast to his own uncertainty.