Piper Porter, 18, originally moved to the big city with dreams of finally living out and proud in an open-minded environment. But those hopes were dashed when she discovered that the $2700 bachelor apartment she had already signed for was, in fact, a repurposed utility closet in the landlord’s basement. “It just looked so different in its pictures,” she said sadly.
“Back home I could never bring a girl home because of my parents. Here it’s because my inflatable mattress has a hole in it, and it will deflate if more than one person lies on it.”
Housing prices have skyrocketed in all major Canadian cities over the last several years. Many in the lesbian community have been forced to hastily move in with their partners in order to save on both rent and dealing with their emotional baggage.
When Porter attempted to alert local housing authorities to her situation, Toronto Mayor John Tory told her that living in a glorified closet apartment is “just a phase” one goes through when moving to a major city. Alternatively, Tory suggested that perhaps Porter just “hadn’t met the right landlord yet.”
When it was suggested that she might simply have to wait until she can afford a larger place, Porter became exasperated. “I did my waiting!” she exclaimed. “Ten years of it! In Innisfil!” Porter went on to describe her hometown trauma by saying, “I may have never fit in there, but at least I could fit in my own fucking house.”
Despite the extremely tight quarters, Porter has miraculously managed to make space in her apartment for three cats, several Tarot decks, and an assortment of houseplants. Still, she longs to live out of the closet. “I just wish I had room to be my authentic self,” she said while scratching her cat’s chin with her nonexistent fingernails.
Shortly after the interview, Porter was able to move out of the closet, as she had dropped everything and moved across the country to live with a girl she met that morning on Hinge.