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Jordan was 16 when his relationship with his family broke down, forcing him to leave home. He’d been trying to come to terms with his sexuality which had made him angry, and subsequently caused problems with his parents.
He found it hard coming out to his family, and accepting his sexuality, all whilst being homeless. Jordan says: ‘It is really hard being gay or homeless, but being 16 and dealing with the pressure of being both gay and homeless is a big struggle.’
Jordan would receive verbal or physical abuse because of his sexuality: ‘Walking the street people would just stare and whisper to each other because I wasn’t like them, I was different.’ As a result, he tried to hide his differences, and lost his trust in people.
It was a project funded by LandAid in Birmingham – St Basils – that help Jordan rebuild his confidence and trust in others. They found him a place to live, where he has been for a year, and showed him that it was OK to be different. In his words ‘I probably wouldn’t be where I am without them.’
Jordan is now 17 and a proud member of the LGBT family. His parents have begun to accept his sexuality and he is feeling more confident about who he is. Today Jordan lives by two mottos: ‘be yourself, everyone else is taken’ by Oscar Wilde and ‘be your own kind of beautiful’ by Marilyn Monroe.
Jordan says: ‘I say ‘be your own kind of beautiful’ because people think difference is ugly. If you don’t have perfect eyes, hair, teeth, skin or the typical perfect body type then you’re ugly. I always say be your own kind of beautiful. When I was younger I was a big child and I always got bullied because of my weight or how feminine I was but now I’ve embraced it. One day your weakness will become your strength.’
Photo: Jordan standing second from the left.