Getting an apartment is a rite of passage for thousands of Canadians in their late teens and early 20s, but for Esteban Torres, a 21-year-old trans man living in Montreal, signing the lease on his three-room apartment earlier this year was especially sweet.

Torres spent much of his adolescence in care after a falling-out with his family over his gender presentation. “My mother was really preoccupied with people’s appearances when I was younger. I had to dress this way and act that way, otherwise . . .” he trails off. “We had a big fight . . . and I ended up in a group home.”

After aging out of the system, he spent several years drifting from one insecure living arrangement to another. “I think I moved five or six times in two years.”