December 5, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Young Trans Woman Fights Homelessness After Father’s Death

For Christine Coleman, troubling news has unfortunately been a constant since childhood. But not even experiences with foster care and ugly custody battles as a kid, or living in homeless shelters as a young trans Latinx woman could have prepared her for the worst news in her life: her father has passed away. For the past five years, Christine devoted herself to being her father, Craig’s state-registered caretaker. She finally found her peace, her purpose. After a rocky battle with his health, Craig was finally well enough to be admitted to the hospital  for a “routine hip replacement,” as Christine described it. 

“He used to say that 80-year-old grandmas survive hip surgery,” Christine explained. “So I thought he would, too.” 

After three long months in ICU, Craig passed away from complications of the surgery in June. Since Christine turned 25 shortly after his passing, she no longer qualified for various services for homeless LGBTQ+ youth, since the cutoff is 24.

A recent homeless count in Los Angeles reported 9,000 people under the age of 24 experiencing homelessness, with a staggering 40 percent of identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning, according to the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Homelessness as a whole in LA County increased by12 percent over the past year.

From the National LGBTQ Taskforce website

To worsen the situation for Christine – even in the with the threat of homelessness and the mourning process still looming – she faces pressure from unsupportive relatives to clear out her father’s storage and home. Christine says that once the lease is up in September, her relatives who own the house do not intend to let her stay. So, in one agonizing summer, Christine finds herself fatherless, jobless and nearly homeless. Still, she fights on, hoping her story will resonate with someone. 

“I can’t even properly grieve his passing,” Christine says. “My family keeps getting on me to empty his storage so they don’t have to pay for it anymore.” 

Christine says that her father was a collector of WWII memorabilia. She says that she simply does not have the time she wants to sort through it all. 

“It’s just me all by myself taking care of everything,” Christine said. “I hate to think that all this stuff that has both sentimental and monetary value is being thrown out. Just like that, my dad’s legacy is trashed.” 

Growing up, Christine’s father fought hard to keep her and her seven siblings out of foster care, and then to get them back once they were placed in a group home. She also says that her father always supported her trans identity. 

“It’s just always been a part of who I am,” Christine said. “Even when he was sick and incoherent in the hospital, when the nurse asked, he always knew he had four daughters, including me in that number.” 

Though she had her father’s full support, Christine still finds it difficult navigating the world in his passing, specifically job hunting. She says that hiring managers are confused by the discrepancy between her resume/interviews versus the birth name that shows up on all her paperwork. 

“They don’t understand, and they don’t take the time to,” Christine said. “Everything goes well during the interviews, but I have trouble advancing farther than that.” 

Transgender & gender nonconforming people experience double the rate of unemployment and are more likely to experience “debilitating negative outcomes” from such unemployment, according to a survey conducted by the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and National Center For Transgender Equality entitled “Injustice At Every Turn.” 

In the wake of her father’s death, Christine create a GoFundMe page to raise some money to help her get a new start. She says that she wants to use the money to find legal justice for her father’s death, make repairs to her current home before being evicted and, finally, move away for a fresh start on life.  

“I’m ready to get away from this all, to be free.” 

For more information, visit Christine’s GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/f/craigandchris

Related Posts

WeHo’s 31st Annual Toy & Food Drive

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The City of West Hollywood and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station are partnering to help give back to those in...

Congregation Kol Ami To Host World AIDS Day 2021 Event

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

Progressive, Reform Congregation Kol Ami will mark World AIDS Day with a special interfaith observance, combining awareness, remembrance, and speaking...

Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Culinary Arts Program Served Hundreds For Thanksgiving Holiday

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The Los Angeles Culinary Arts program served nearly 900 people Thanksgiving meals making it the largest undertaking so far.  The...

The Center Long Beach Older Adult Service’s Rolls Out In-person & Hybrid Programming

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The Center’s Older Adult Services Program rolls out in-person activities and adopts a hybrid programming model.  Socially distant, outdoor in-person...

WeHo Wins ‘Most Business-Friendly City Award’ from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The City of West Hollywood has been awarded the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation’s 2021 Most Business-Friendly City Award....

The Center Long Beach Will Participate In Giving Tuesday

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The LGBTQ Center Long Beach will be participating in Giving Tuesday, a global day of generosity taking place on November...

WeHo Commemorates Transgender Day of Remembrance 2021

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The City of West Hollywood commemorated Transgender Day of Rememberance through a virtual event.  Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is...

TransGiving Dinner 2021

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The 21st annual Trans-Giving Dinner was held on November 20th at the Unique Woman’s Coalition (UWC) in West Hollywood.  The...

LGBTQ Center Long Beach Adds New Staff

November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

The LGBTQ Center Long Beach has added three new members to its board of directors as well as the new...

34th Annual AIDS Walk Long Beach

November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

The 34th Annual AIDS Walk Long Beach, a benefit for the LGBTQ Center Long Beach and other local providers returned...

LA County Addresses Disproportionate Amount Of Women and LGBTQ Populations In L.A. Jails

November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

On Tuesday, October 19, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a motion that the board hopes will do...

County Board Of Supervisors Approves $3.6 Million To Serve LGBTQ Foster Youth

November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

L.A County Board or Supervisors has passed a supplemental budget to its fiscal year 2021-2022, which includes an allocation of...

City Council of WeHo Approves Draft Ordinance to Implement a Citywide Minimum Wage

November 10, 2021

November 10, 2021

The City Council of the City of West Hollywood has unanimously approved a draft Ordinance to establish a citywide minimum...

WeHo Approves Resolution Recognizing November As Native American Heritage Month

November 10, 2021

November 10, 2021

The City of West Hollywood City Council has approved a Resolution recognizing November as Native American Heritage Month. The Resolution...

WeHo Halloween Carnaval 2021 Cancelled

October 31, 2021

October 31, 2021

The City of West Hollywood is reminding the community and the region that the City’s annual Halloween Carnaval will not...