Tue. Jul 9th, 2024

Ben Olive, member of PLUS, from Tennessee

Research shows that LGBT+ youth are more likely to experience homelessness than heterosexual youth. LGBT+ people make up only 10% of the youth population, yet account for 40% of America’s homeless youth population.

The #1 reported cause of homelessness among these youth is being deliberately kicked out of their home by family members due to them being LGBT+. To make matters worse, LGBT+ experience discrimination in employment as well. This increases the likelihood that those of us cut-off from support will be unable to pay rent and will become unhoused.

Those of us who are forced into homelessness suffer worse health outcomes than those of us who remain housed. The constant stress, exposure to the elements, and unstable financial situation wear down the body and mind. If you are unlucky enough to be both transgender and homeless, you will likely experience additional discrimination at shelters. This is because shelters often decide to turn transgender people away, rather than allowing them to stay with the correct gender.

Furthermore, the corrective system often opts to avoid the issue by keeping transgender people in isolation. Thus, members of our community risk what is considered a form of torture by the United Nations if they express who they truly are.

The People’s LGBT+ United Society recognizes that although most of us will never experience homelessness, the mere threat of it forces a much greater percentage of us into silence. Until there is better state support for LGBT+ youth experiencing homelessness, and until more work is done to combat anti-LGBT+ chauvinism, much of our community will spend a large portion of their lives in silence out of fear.

We stand in solidarity with those of us facing housing discrimination and call on our community to mobilize to the same ends.

By Admin