Question: A Gay Teen Facing Homelessness Asks for Help
I am a young man (eighteen). Shortly after high school graduation, I "came out" to my parents. Long story short, they refuse to "accept" my being homosexual, and because of that, I am on the verge of becoming homeless. It would be great help if I may be directed to any organizations that may aid me in my situation.
What a tough situation! But you should know you aren't alone. Sadly, up to 40% of homeless youth are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender?
If you think you might become homeless the first thing to do is to consider as many alternatives to living on the street as possible. Here are some ideas:
- Ask extended family members or close friends if you can stay with them.
- Talk to your guidance counsellor. Be honest about your situation and ask for advice. (He or she will most likely still be available to help you even if you recently graduated).
- Check out the resource section of this site for organizations that provide support to GLBT teens.
If none of these are options you can also:
- Contact your local GLBT Community Center and ask to be put in touch with appropriate service organizations.
- Many states have services that cater to homeless GLBT teens. The Ali Forney Center in New York City is one such place. They offer an excellent resource list of similar centers in 15 states.
- A really extreme option is legal emancipation from your parents, but this probably isn't necessary.
Many traditional shelters are not safe for GLBT teens. If at all possible, try to locate GLBT-friendly services. When dealing with a crisis like homelessness, the last thing you need is a hostile or homophobic service provider.