Monday, November 21, 2011

Homeless LGBT kids at crisis levels

From NPR today:
A number of studies of homeless youth in big cities put forth a startling statistic: Depending on the study, somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of homeless youths identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
It's largely because gay youths are more often kicked out of their homes than straight youths. And even if they are not kicked out, they may feel so uncomfortable that they leave.
In New York City, nearly 4,000 young people are homeless every night — many of them gay.
In New York city alone there are 3800 homeless kids on the street and only 250 beds to offer them. And according to AMERICAblog Gay even that piddly number of beds was being threatened by a budget deal which threatened to cut 100 of those beds. Truly horrific.

And as someone who has seen up close and personal the cruelty inflicted on gay kids in the name of "Christianity" (through my experiences at PFLAG and in my own family), I can only assume that a good number of these lgbt kids are discarded like trash by their families because it conflicts with their parents' so-called "good" Christian values. From NPR again:

Carl Siciliano is the founder and executive director of the Ali Forney Center, which he describes as the nation's largest organization dedicated to homeless LGBT youth. When he started the center almost 10 years ago, he says, "kids were dying in the streets; there was no shelter for gay youth; every couple of months, I would know someone who was murdered in the streets."
In the beginning, Siciliano's goal was just keeping kids safe. 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."
Here is a video clip titled,  A Day in Our Shoes - Homeless LGBT Youth:

I don't know what the solution to this horrendous problem is, but I suspect so many of these "good" Christian churches could play a big role in helping to fix it. Sadly the will just does not seem to be there.

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