When Lucy walked into the Friday Women’s Drop-In for the first time, I was struck by her very cool, high-heeled shoes. The Friday Women’s Drop-In at All Saints’ serves female sex workers and drug addicts and now, increasingly, a number of transgender women who live and work in the area. As we sat down to eat breakfast together I learned something about Lucy’s life journey.

She grew up as a boy then worked for a while in Hamilton, Ontario. When she graduated from High School she began working in the steel industry as a millwright and pipe fitter.

But ever since childhood, Lucy had started to feel that her true self was female. As a teenager, she had secretly started to dress in women’s clothes until her brother found them in her closet and threw them in the garbage. Her parents eventually closed the front door on her, and she became yet another statistic in the GTA’s homeless population.

Lucy came to Toronto to find support within the growing trans community and began to work in bars and occasionally in the sex trade. But this summer, Lucy confided to me with great pride, she has landed a job as a grounds person in a summer camp in northern Ontario.