40 Change Makers: Stevin Bonifacio

This interview has been shortened and condensed for clarity.

In 2019, Stevin Bonifacio, a New York City Anti-Violence Project’s client, reached a settlement with the City of New York Department of Homeless Services for anti-transgender discrimination he experienced in the city’s homeless shelter system. His complaint, filed through the City Commission on Human Rights, included financial compensation and important trans specific policy changes that will have long standing impact on the trans, gender nonconforming, and intersex (TGNCI) homeless population in New York City.

How did you first learn about AVP?

Pretty much the same way all millennials find out anything, through Google. I searched my butt off for all the organizations I could find. I was in a very stressful point in my life going through homelessness and dealing with the shelter system and dealing with different forms of discrimination. I just decided to put in my good work and search left and right. Of course, AVP popped up and I decided to give them a go.

What have you learned through working with AVP?

I’d say what I’ve learned here is that diligence and tenacity will get you a long way, will take you a long way. And if you’re just patient and you just put your trust in people that have experience and know what they’re doing, and have been fighting the good fight for as long as you have, that great things can come from that. That’s what I learned, stay the course and you’ll get to paradise eventually. Just be patient and never give up.

How has AVP impacted your work life?

The work with AVP has really kicked up my activism and advocacy several notches. I was able to really engage with like minded people and put in work that was finally put to good use. My voice had an action at AVP. That’s the best way to describe it, really. My voice. Having action.

Because of AVP and their help, now I’m able to enjoy life. I can breathe easy knowing that the community effort at AVP is thriving so much. It allows me to live in at least some sort of peace. The way that it has affected me the most is giving me peace of mind. I would describe it as that.

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