Up to 40 percent of homeless young adults are LGBT, according to a survey of shelters nationwide. In many cases, LGBT youth choose or are forced to leave home because their families don’t accept them.
One of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) homeless youth profiled in her story “Torreano David Stanley, a 20-year-old from the Bronx who identifies as gender fluid—female most days. “Her extended family told her ‘that I need to change my ways or leave,’ she said. ‘I knew that they were talking about me being gay.’”
Latsinger reports that homeless youth have not benefitted from the recent strides made in gay rights. On the streets, 40% of the estimated 550,000 homeless youth, who experience homelessness over the course of identify as LGBT. Yet there are only 4,000 beds for homeless youth available across the country with only 350 of those beds specifically for LGBT youth.
Without the acceptance of family and friends and often forced to life on the streets, this population faces extreme risk for violence, including rape, hunger and risk of contacting illness such as HIV/AIDS.