This year, HRC is proud to mark National Foster Care Month with the launch of HRC Foundation and FosterClub’s #FosterEquality campaign. Throughout the month, we have shared stories of LGBTQ youth in foster care and agencies that are working to improve their practices with LGBTQ youth. Today, as National Foster Care Month comes to a close, we highlight the story of Tristan Torres and his experiences in the foster care system.

As a young transgender man, Tristan Torres faced rejection and trauma before entering care and in both his foster care placements. Unfortunately he is not alone in his experiences of poor treatment and harassment.

Tristan displayed incredible resilience and shared his biggest takeaway from this time in his life, “Advocating for myself was the most difficult part of being in the foster care system, but it’s also a vital skill to learn.”

Tristan also reflected on the fact that LGBTQ youth struggle to find supportive services and home environments because of who they are and too many never get the resources they need. “I know not all foster children could brave similar encounters that I endured, and many would have taken their lives if they didn’t have the same or similar resources as I was fortunate enough to find (and they often don’t).”

HRC’s  All Children – All Families project works with foster care agencies around the country to build their capacity to provide inclusive services and resources for LGBTQ youth in the foster care system.

You can read Tristan's full story here. His words are a call to action for all of us. Check out this brief for information on what you can do, whether you’re a policymaker, child welfare professional, current foster parent or a caring adult.

Read more stories from LGBTQ youth in foster care on HRC’s blog and share these stories to raise awareness about the experiences of LGBTQ foster youth.

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