"In New York City ... a gay teen is eight times more likely to experience homelessness than a heterosexual teen, and nationally, 25 percent of all LGBT teens do not live at home."And then I started searching out other stats and found these from a 2009 report by the National Coalition for the Homeless:
- 20% of homeless youth are LGBT. In comparison, the general youth population is only 10% LGBT.
- LGBT youth, once homeless, are at higher risk for victimization, mental health problems, and unsafe sexual practices. 58.7% of LGBT homeless youth have been sexually victimized compared to 33.4% of heterosexual homeless youth.
- LGBT youth are roughly 7.4 times more likely to experience acts of sexual violence than heterosexual homeless youth.
Really, really sad.
Luckily in big cities, there are places like the Ali Forney Center which serves about 1,000 youth per year through its emergency housing and transitional housing programs. But if you're young and queer in Huntsville, Alabama or Huron, South Dakota or Sherman, Texas, there's not much refuge if your family has cast you out.
Here's an amazing video on who Ali Forney was and how the Ali Forney Center came to be: