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Gay rights movement has not been kind to the plight of homeless LGBT youth

Monday, November 21, 2011

The gay rights movement has not been good about dealing with the issue of homeless gay youth, and depending on the study, somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of homeless youths identify as LGBT, reported National Public Radio, this past weekend.

Margot Adler, NPR

According to one advocate, it’s largely because gay youths are kicked out of their homes more often than straight youths, and even if they are not kicked out, many LGBT kids leave looking for the acceptance they don’t find at home.

Carl Siciliano, the founder and executive director of the Ali Forney Center in New York, which he describes as the nation’s largest organization dedicated to homeless LGBT youth, said the modern gay rights movement “was articulated and thought out at a time when it was almost all adults coming out.”

But as the years have gone on, he says, “it has become clear to me that we are living in a societal moment, where kids are coming out at younger and younger ages, and there are so many parents who can’t be parents to their gay kids. They can’t cope, they can’t deal with it, their religion is in conflict with the reality of their kids’ lives, and these kids are getting thrown away.”

In New York City, nearly 4,000 young people are homeless every night — many of them gay, reported NPR.

“We have framed our fight for equality in adult terms, and almost all the victories we have won only really benefit the adults in our community,” Siciliano said.


“It is not so much laws with the kids; it is economics. It’s a fight for resources. That’s what our community hasn’t quite gotten yet; we have to fight for resources to protect our kids. How dare we say ‘it gets better’ to the kids if we are not willing to fight to make sure they have what they need.”

Siciliano said there are only 250 beds for 3,800 homeless kids in New York City, and waiting lists are huge.

Read Margot Adler’s full report at NPR.

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Filed under: LGBTQ Life

14 more reader comments:

  1. I hear there’s a test to see if your kids are gay, it’s called the HIV test.

    Posted on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 4:27pm
  2. dude we should focus on them

    Posted on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 4:31pm
  3. @alex dumb ass

    Posted on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 4:46pm
  4. i agree

    Posted on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 5:03pm
  5. The US is not good at dealing with any issues around social welfare.

    Posted on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 5:09pm
  6. I always love the idiotic comments that suggest that gay is a type of person only when it is insulting, but is otherwise a behavior, if that makes more of an insult at the time. The idea that there is no such thing as a gay virgin is silly. People are gay *before* their first gay sexual experience, not exclusively during it or because of it.

    Posted on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 5:34pm
  7. oh gee wheres lady gaga when shes needed?

    Posted on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 6:37pm
  8. It’s folks that think like alex that there area homeless LGBT kids in the first place. str8 life to some is so cut and dry.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 10:21am
  9. Is there some kind of rule that there always has to be 1 token homophobe to prove that we don’t discriminate against them or something? ;)

    Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 10:24am
  10. @alex, what an amazingly insensitive comment. it’s also an amazingly ignorant comment. what’s really sad is that there are many people that still believe that AIDS is a gay related disease. do some research and find out how it’s transmitted so that you don’t become an unfortunate victim. better yet, volunteer your time with kids born with HIV and maybe you will learn some compassion.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 11:52am
  11. Don’t feed the troll, guys.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 3:08pm
  12. That is an utterly obscene statement. Just… wow. The stupidity boggles.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 7:28pm
  13. My comment about stupidity was aimed at Alex Odom. I think we should work very hard to protect our LGBT youth. We should make a great tribe.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 7:30pm
  14. Hey, humane manners- learn some you ignorant prick.

    Posted on Friday, November 25, 2011 at 12:27pm