- April 29, 2015
Post submitted by Beth Sherouse, former ACLS Public Fellow, HRC Senior Content Manager
According to the Williams Institute, about 40 percent of homeless youth in the United States are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). When compared to the rate of homelessness among the general youth population – about 7 percent – this figure is startling.
As LGBT visibility and acceptance increases across the country, it is important to remember that some parents are still rejecting their LGBT children, who then become some of the most vulnerable members of our community. In addition to facing homelessness, research by the Family Acceptance Project explains how LGBT youth who experience high levels of family rejection are much more likely to suffer from depression, use illegal drugs, be at risk for HIV, or attempt suicide.
Family rejection often leads to youth entering foster care, where youth may once again experience rejection and discrimination because they’re LGBT.
“I’m trying to make it on my own,” said HRC Youth Ambassador Christian Ross, as he explains his recent experiences of homelessness. “It’s hard for me to trust anyone because of my experiences in foster care.”
Initiatives like HRC Foundation’s All Children-All Families program work to change that equation for Christian and the thousands of other LGBT youth in systems of care.
Today, the HRC Foundation joins the True Colors Fund and other advocates across the country in a campaign to raise awareness about LGBT youth homelessness for the first ever #40toNoneDay. The goal of this day and the #40toNoneDay media campaign is to work together toward a day when all youth are supported and loved by their families, and where the 40 percent becomes none.
Please check out our resource page on LGBT youth homelessness and join us by using the hashtag #40toNoneDay on social media as you help raise awareness of this important issue.