Homelessness services must strive to understand and support nuanced identities
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My identity is made up of different identifiers. I identify as being male, was perceived as effeminate when young, and grew up in public housing in western Sydney with my iTaukei (indigenous) Fijian father and Anglo Australian mother. I was brought up in a relatively conservative Christian family, and now I have much more progressive leanings to life. I also identify as being able bodied, healthy but considered overweight, a person of colour, bisexual, separated from my marriage to a woman and a father to a child. As you may see, my identity is broad and complex. Even I strive to make sense of where I fit into mainstream society in the past, present, and anticipated future. As a result, I believe society continues to silo categories of diversity as separate matters. In a society obsessed with how well you do based on your financial position, it's important to acknowledge that we are not just our socio-economic status. I believe we need to create youth homelessness services that reflect these complex realities on intersecting identities.