Safe Places For LGBTQ+ Homeless Youth
The amount of safe places or homeless shelters dedicated to those who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, etc., is very low. These children need a place to go. A place to be loved, a place where they are not judged for being who they are.
Dear Future President:
Safe places for the LGBTQ+ youth has been an issue in America for decades. Not a lot of people are educated on the LGBTQ+ community. This can lead to parentals of LGBTQ+ youth not understanding what their child feels or is going through. Some parents are very appalled at the idea of even trying to understand this concept, which could later lead to homeless children with no place to go. This issue has arisen in recent years due to same-sex marriage being realized, which encouraged many children to come to terms with who they are and remain true to themselves. This also infuriated anti-LGBT parents or guardians, leading them to the decision to kick their children out on the streets. The parents are so impacted by this because the majority of them grew up in a time period that was not very accepting of this community. Most importantly, the youth are impacted. They are ambushed by the idea of someone that has loved and cared for them since birth, cutting off that sense of compassion and disowning them.
All these children want to do, is be able to be who they are and the way they were born, around the people that mean the most to them. “Homeless Transgender youth are especially at risk for a much more mentally confusing life. Homeless shelters are segregated by birth sex, rather than gender identity.”(Ray). From personal experience, I know how difficult it is to come to terms with who you are. I can only imagine what it’s like to have that basically taken from you. Therefore, I am impacted by this because I am apart of this community. However, I have a very large support system that I am forever grateful for, Unfortunately, some children are not as lucky as I am. I have an obligation as a member of this community to keep myself and others safe. Having more safe places for homeless LGBTQ+ youth, would help children to not have to resort to living on the streets and help them to not be forced to partake in dangerous activities, just to make ends meet.
The number of safe places for LGBT youth needs to increase because happiness and security are basic human rights. No person, let alone a child, should know what it’s like to not have a family to go home to everyday. With little to no safe places in most states, homeless (LGBTQ+) youth are forced to live on the streets or do other horrible things just to make ends meet. According to the True Colors Fund, 40% of homeless youth identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, etc., As time goes on, more children will come to terms with who they are, which allows for more anti-LGBT parents/guardians to disown or kick their children out of their homes. A child cannot support themselves. A parent’s job is to love their children unconditionally. There are many other factors that contribute to this. However, without a strong foundation or a loving family, a homeless child is bound to go down the wrong road.
Homelessness at such a young age can lead to “Survival Sex and Victimization”. According to Nicholas Ray, “all LGBTQ+ homeless youth are especially vulnerable to engaging in risky sexual behavior due to basic needs not being met.” Survival sex is the idea of engaging in sexual acts in exchange for money, food, shelter, or even drugs. No person, let alone a minor, should have to give up their innocence just to make ends meet. Youth that engage in survival sex are at very high risk for STD’s and even HIV/AIDS.
Some may say that LGBTQ+ lives don’t matter because they believe sexuality and gender identity is a “choice”. Others believe that if these children would go to church or be put through “conversion” therapy, that this issue would be solved immediately. Although the counterargument is understandable due to everyone having different beliefs, one who identifies as LGBTQ+ cannot per say, “go back in the closet”. This is who they are, the way they were born. The last thing anyone would do would be to CHOOSE to get discriminated against or live in fear nearly everyday of their lives.
It is clear that safe places for homeless LGBTQ+ are most definitely a necessity in the United States. Our country needs to be more aware of the rights of people in this community. The US needs to continue to be educated on this community. The president should be efficiently educated and supportive of what these kids go through and what they need. The future president should focus on each state individually and place at least three safe places or homeless shelters dedicated to LGBTQ+ youth, in several major cities and minor cities. It is a part of the president’s duty to the country, to keep everyone safe. These children should not be denied the sense of security due to something they cannot control.
The United States are in dire need of safe places for LGBTQ+ youth. Children should not have to live on the streets and struggle to live another day, just because of who they are or who they love. Most importantly, more safe places, equal less homelessness and safer children. These children are the future leaders of this country. We need to keep them safe and make sure they can be only the best version of themselves. Thank you for your time, patience, and consideration. I hope that my letter can positively influence your thoughts on this topic.