Gay and Homeless…Christmas isn’t always Merry for Everyone
There are over 1.7 million homeless youth in America. Nationally, an average of 6% identify themselves as LGBT and 25% or more trade sex for food. Below is a story following two LGBT youths, who cling to each other for protection, comfort, support and the need to be loved. They sell sex for food, alcohol and drugs to escape reality. Its a tragically all to common story occuring in many towns and cities across America. It’s up to US to make a difference, to put your money where your mouth is and do something. Donate time, money or resources. Help a throwaway kid in need… Not because it’s Christmas, but because it’s the right thing to do, any time of year.
Every year, hundreds of gay youths end up on the streets of L.A. County, where they make up a disproportionate share of the people under 25 who are homeless. ‘They haven’t been on the streets for years and years,’ an advocate says, ‘so they don’t look bad.’
AJ, 23, and his boyfriend, Alex, 21, hide their blankets and duffel bags in bushes. They shower every morning at a drop-in center and pick out outfits from a closet full of used yet youthful attire.
“If I could be invisible, I would,” AJ said. “I feel ashamed to admit that I’m homeless.”
Every year, hundreds of gay youths end up alone on the streets of Los Angeles County, where they make up a disproportionate share of the at least 4,200 people under 25 who are homeless on any given day.
A recent study found that 40% of the homeless youths in Hollywood, a gathering spot for these young people, identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or unsure of their sexual orientation. Five percent say they are transgender.
But it is a largely hidden population, said Simon Costello, who manages the drop-in center frequented by AJ and Alex.
- 11 percent of youth said they were younger than 18
- 42 percent of youth said they were not heterosexual.
- 49 percent of youth said they had quit school before 12th grade.
- 28 percent of youth said they tried to commit suicide three times or more.
- Homeless for the Holidays (newwaysministryblog.wordpress.com)
- Interagency Homelessness Council Commits To Addressing Needs Of LGBT Youth (thinkprogress.org)
- Huge Percentage of Homeless Youths Identify as LGBT (onebluestocking.wordpress.com)
- A New Place for Queer Homeless Youth in Atlanta (bilerico.com)
- Watch now | ‘A Day in Our Shoes,’ an ‘In the Life’ online video about homeless LGBT youth (miamiherald.typepad.com)