On the street
The numbers of homeless LGBTQ+ youth aren’t just disproportionate to those who identify as straight. They’re staggering.
Research shows that nearly half of kids who use homeless youth agencies, drop-in centers and outreach and housing programs identify as gay, bisexual, transgender or some other identity on the vast spectrum of LGBTQ+. When you consider that just 4 percent of the American population identifies as LGBTQ+, according to a recent Gallup Poll, you begin to understand just how disproportionate these numbers are (Gates, Gallup Poll, 2017).
So the first question is, Why?
Every individual story is different, but when you look at the underlying causes, you find the common ground: Kid comes out. Family freaks out. Kid is ostracized or flat-out disowned. Even if they aren’t told to leave, the social consequences of staying are often too difficult to bear. Without an education or marketable skills, they end up on the street, struggling to survive.
And the problem is getting worse.
Read this article from NBC news to learn more about the homelessness epidemic among LGBTQ+ youth.
Gates, G. J. (2017, January 11). In U.S., more adults identifying as LGBT. Gallup. http://news.gallup.com/poll/201731/lgbt-identification-rises.aspx
Left behind: LGBT homeless youth struggle to survive on the streets. (2014, August 2). NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/left-behind-lgbt-homeless-youth-struggle-survive-streets-n157506