In celebration of National Coming Out Day, the UUFR selects an aspect of or a challenge facing the LGBTQ community that is not well discussed or known in overall or LGBTQ media.
This year we discussed the challenge of LGBTQ Youth Homelessness. Although only 5% to 7% of American youth are LGBTQ, LGBTQ Youth make up 40% of the Youth Homeless population in the United States.
In the course of preparing for this discussion, we discovered that the issue was large and multi-faceted, covering topics we didn’t know would tie into the issue. This includes the following:
•Belonging to communities and families that prescribe to LGBTQ-exclusionary religious beliefs, many of whom may not ever have been exposed to LGBTQ-inclusionary religious stances,
•Attending schools that are unsafe and abusive,
•A lack of knowledge and resources in homeless outreach efforts in terms of how to cater to unique challenges facing this demographic,
•And a school-to-prison pipeline, in which LGBTQ Youth on the street are often swept up into the criminal justice system. People of Color and Transgender LGBTQ Youth are in particular danger in this environment.
Consequentially, links below go to respective resources we found useful in terms of understanding this issue, as well as links to LGBTQ resources UUFR has on its website already, including religiously-inclusive resources, Transgender resources, and resources for LGBTQ People of Color. Please feel free to share.
Also, please remember, recent advances toward Marriage Equality have been great, but that is not the only work to be done. While we celebrate the increasing recognition of the freedom to marry, let’s not forget the children living life on the street.
Seeking Shelter: The Experiences and Unmet Needs of LGBT Homeless Youth
“Results of the 2012-2013 Missouri School Climate Survey: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Straight Ally Students in Missouri’s Schools. A Report from Missouri GSA Network”
Resources for LGBT Youth and their Friends from the CDC
Family and Youth Acceptance: San Francisco State University’s Family Acceptance Project
“Standing With LGBT Prisoners: An Advocate’s Guide to Ending Abuse and Combating Imprisonment” by Jody Masksamer and Harper Jean Tobin
The Forsaken: A Rising Number of Homeless Gay Teens Are Being Cast Out by Religious Families
On the UUFR Website:
•LGBT Resources: Spiritual
•LGBT Resources Relating To People of Color